Lexington, Massachusetts

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Lexington, Massachusetts
Town
Minuteman Statue and Hayes Memorial Fountain on Lexington Common, by H. H. Kitson
Minuteman Statue and Hayes Memorial Fountain on Lexington Common, by H. H. Kitson
Flag of Lexington, Massachusetts
Flag
Official seal of Lexington, Massachusetts
Seal
Nickname(s): Birthplace of American Liberty
Motto: "What a Glorious Morning for America!"
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°26′50″N 71°13′30″W / 42.44722°N 71.22500°W / 42.44722; -71.22500Coordinates: 42°26′50″N 71°13′30″W / 42.44722°N 71.22500°W / 42.44722; -71.22500
CountryUnited States
StateMassachusetts
CountyMiddlesex
Settled1642
Incorporated1713
Government
 • TypeRepresentative town meeting
Area
 • Total16.5 sq mi (42.8 km2)
 • Land16.4 sq mi (42.5 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation210 ft (64 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total31,394
 • Density1,900/sq mi (730/km2)
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code02420 / 02421
Area code(s)339 / 781
FIPS code25-35215
GNIS feature ID0619401
Websitewww.lexingtonma.gov
 
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Lexington, Massachusetts
Town
Minuteman Statue and Hayes Memorial Fountain on Lexington Common, by H. H. Kitson
Minuteman Statue and Hayes Memorial Fountain on Lexington Common, by H. H. Kitson
Flag of Lexington, Massachusetts
Flag
Official seal of Lexington, Massachusetts
Seal
Nickname(s): Birthplace of American Liberty
Motto: "What a Glorious Morning for America!"
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°26′50″N 71°13′30″W / 42.44722°N 71.22500°W / 42.44722; -71.22500Coordinates: 42°26′50″N 71°13′30″W / 42.44722°N 71.22500°W / 42.44722; -71.22500
CountryUnited States
StateMassachusetts
CountyMiddlesex
Settled1642
Incorporated1713
Government
 • TypeRepresentative town meeting
Area
 • Total16.5 sq mi (42.8 km2)
 • Land16.4 sq mi (42.5 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation210 ft (64 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total31,394
 • Density1,900/sq mi (730/km2)
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code02420 / 02421
Area code(s)339 / 781
FIPS code25-35215
GNIS feature ID0619401
Websitewww.lexingtonma.gov

Lexington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 31,394 at the 2010 census,[1] in nearly 11,100 households. Settled in 1642, this town is famous for being the site of the first shot of the American Revolutionary War, in the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775, as the "Shot heard 'round the world" when news spread about the revolution.

History[edit]

Lexington was first settled circa 1642[2] as part of Cambridge, Massachusetts.[2] What is now Lexington was then incorporated as a parish, called Cambridge Farms, in 1691. This allowed them to have a separate church and minister, but were still under jurisdiction of the Town of Cambridge. Lexington was incorporated as a separate town in 1713. It was then that it got the name Lexington.[3] How it received its name is the subject of some controversy. Some people believe that it was named in honor of Lord Lexington, an English peer.[4] Some, on the other hand, believe that it was named after Lexington (which was pronounced and today spelled Laxton) in Nottinghamshire, England.[5]

In the early colonial days, Vine Brook, which runs through Lexington, Burlington, and Bedford, and then empties into the Shawsheen River, was a focal point of the farming and industry of the town. It provided for many types of mills, and later, in the 20th Century for farm irrigation.

For decades, Lexington showed modest growth while remaining largely a farming community, providing Boston with much of its produce. It always had a bustling downtown area, which remains so to this day. Lexington began to prosper, helped by its proximity to Boston, and having a rail line (originally the Lexington and West Cambridge Railroad, later the Boston and Maine Railroad) service its citizens and businesses, beginning in 1846. (Today, the Minuteman Bikeway occupies the site of the former rail line.) For many years, East Lexington was considered a separate village from the rest of the town, though it still had the same officers and Town Hall. Most of the farms of Lexington became housing developments by the end of the 1960s.

Lexington, as well as many of the towns along the Route 128 corridor, experienced a jump in population in the 1960s and 70s, due to the high-tech boom. Property values in the town soared, and the school system became nationally recognized for its excellence.[citation needed] The town participates in the METCO program, which buses minority students from Boston to suburban towns to receive better educational opportunities than those available to them in the Boston Public Schools.[6]

On April 19, 1775, the first battle of the American Revolutionary War was a battle at Lexington where the Shot heard round the world was fired. After the rout, the British march on toward Concord where the militia had been allowed time to organize at the Old North Bridge and turn back the British and prevent them from capturing and destroying the militia's arms stores.

Lexington was the Cold War location of the USAF "Experimental SAGE Subsector"[7] for testing a prototype IBM computer that arrived in July 1955[8] for development of a computerized "national air defense network"[9] (the namesake "Lexington Discrimination System" for incoming ICBM warheads was developed in the late 1960s.)[10]

Geography[edit]

Lexington is located at 42°26′39″N 71°13′36″W / 42.44417°N 71.22667°W / 42.44417; -71.22667 (42.444345, -71.226928).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 16.5 square miles (42.8 km²), of which 16.4 square miles (42.5 km²) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.4 km²), or 0.85%, is water.

Lexington borders the following towns: Burlington, Woburn, Winchester, Arlington, Belmont, Waltham, Lincoln, and Bedford. It has more area than all other municipalities that it borders.

Demographics[edit]

Topography of Lexington and environs
Historical population
YearPop.  ±%  
18501,893—    
18602,329+23.0%
18702,277−2.2%
18802,460+8.0%
18903,197+30.0%
19003,831+19.8%
19104,918+28.4%
19206,350+29.1%
19309,467+49.1%
194013,187+39.3%
195017,335+31.5%
196027,691+59.7%
197031,886+15.1%
198029,479−7.5%
199028,974−1.7%
200030,355+4.8%
201031,394+3.4%

Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]

By the 2010 census, the population had reached 31,394.

As of the census[22] of 2010, there had been 31,394 people, 11,530 households, and 8,807 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,851.0 people per square mile (714.6/km²). There were 12,019 housing units at an average density of 691.1 per square mile (266.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 75.5% White, 19.9% Asian (8.6% Chinese, 4.8% Asian Indian, 3.2% Korean[23]), 1.5% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.

There were 11,530 households out of which 38.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.0% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 3.5% from 18 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 28.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

According to a 2007 estimate,[24] the median income for a household in the town was $122,656, and the median income for a family was $142,796. Males had a median income of $100,000+ versus $73,090 for females. The per capita income for the town was $61,119. About 1.8% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Lexington's public education system includes six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Overall the Lexington school district is among the top ranked in the state and nationally. Bridge Elementary School and Jonas Clarke Middle School were both High Performing National Blue Ribbon Schools in 2010 and 2013 respectively.[25][26] Both middle schools have been ranked as top schools based on Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test scores. Lexington High School was ranked in 2013 as the 204th best high school in the Nation by USNews and the 194th in the Nation in 2012 by Newsweek.[27] In 2012, Lexington High School won the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl competition.[28] In addition to Lexington High School, students may also attend Minuteman Regional High School.

Points of interest[edit]

Engraved memorial bricks lining the Lexington Depot sidewalk
Historic Mullikan Oak Tree, September 2012

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Lexington is a sister city of

FranceAntony, France
MexicoDolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico
UkraineDnipropetrovsk, Ukraine
IsraelHaifa, Israel

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Lexington town, Middlesex County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Tracing the Past in Lexington, Massachusetts. Edwin B. Worthen.
  3. ^ Lexington, MA Chamber of Commerce Home Page
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Lexington - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  6. ^ "METCO FAQ". Massachusetts Department of Education. 
  7. ^ http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=AD0419183
  8. ^ (minutes (MC665_r14_6M-3797.pdf)) Biweekly Report for 29 July 1955 (Report). Memorandum 6M-3797. Lincoln Laboratory Division 6. "All XD-1 frames have now been delivered. The LRI and output frame3 arrived 29 July."
  9. ^ "Overview". SAGE: The First [computerized]National Air Defense Network. IBM.com. Retrieved 2013-05-08. "the AN/FSQ-7…was developed, built and maintained by IBM. … In June 1956, IBM delivered the prototype of the computer to be used in SAGE." 
  10. ^ Lemnios, William Z.; Grometstein, Alan A. (November 1, 2002). "Overview of the Lincoln Laboratory Ballistic Missile Defense Program". Lincoln Laboratory journal. Volume 13. 
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  12. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010. 
  13. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  16. ^ "1950 Census of Population". 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  17. ^ "1920 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  18. ^ "1890 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  19. ^ "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  20. ^ "1860 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  21. ^ "1850 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  22. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  23. ^ "QT-P8: Race Reporting for the Asian Population by Selected Categories: 2010". factfinder2.census.gov. 2010 Census. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  24. ^ Census FactFinder
  25. ^ "2010 National Blue Ribbon Exemplary High Performing Schools". U.S. Department of Education. 
  26. ^ "2013 National Blue Ribbon Exemplary High Performing Schools". U.S. Department of Education. 
  27. ^ [2][3].
  28. ^ Past High School National Science Bowl Winners (1991 - 2012) | U.S. DOE Office of Science (SC). Science.energy.gov (2013-05-17). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  29. ^ We Are Lexington, MA - Celebrating 300 Years, "The Oldest Tree in Lexington" by Nell Walker.
  30. ^ Willards Woods Conservation Area
  31. ^ Kathleen Burge, Boston Globe, Out to save the modern home, 2011 Feb 24
  32. ^ "29 Are Chosen for Fellowships From the MacArthur Foundation", The New York Times, June 2, 1998, retrieved January 29, 2012 
  33. ^ Wishart, David J., ed. (2004), Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, Center for Great Plains Studies, p. 112, retrieved January 29, 2012 
  34. ^ Hudson, Charles (1913), History of the town of Lexington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, from its first settlement to 1868, Houghton Mifflin, p. 80, retrieved January 31, 2012 
  35. ^ Famous folks from Lexington, Boston.com, retrieved July 31, 2012 
  36. ^ Fox, Margalit. "Gerald S. Lesser, Shaper of ‘Sesame Street,’ Dies at 84", The New York Times, October 4, 2010. Accessed October 4, 2010.
  37. ^ "Foreign-language students earn awards". The Lexington Minuteman. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Famous folks from Lexington". Boston.com. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Famous folks from Lexington". Boston.com. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Lexington (Massachusetts).