On April 23, 1635, the first public school in the United States opened in Boston, Massachusetts. The school was known as the Boston Latin School and was founded by the newly established Massachusetts Bay Colony.
The Boston Latin School was established in order to provide education to the children of the growing colony, which was founded just five years prior. At the time, education was seen as a privilege reserved only for the wealthy and elite members of society. However, the Massachusetts Bay Colony believed that education was essential for the colony’s development, and thus decided to establish the Boston Latin School as a way to offer education to all.
The school’s curriculum focused on classical languages such as Latin and Greek, which were seen as the foundation of education. Students were taught a variety of subjects, including history, math, geography, and philosophy. The curriculum would eventually expand to include other subjects like science and literature. Still, the foundations of classical education would remain a hallmark of the Boston Latin School for centuries to come.
Over the years, the Boston Latin School would go on to produce many notable alumni, including five signers of the Declaration of Independence, as well as numerous other politicians, judges, and scholars. Today, the Boston Latin School continues to be one of the most prestigious public schools in the United States. Its legacy lives on as a reminder of the importance of education for all.