Timeline of Lowell History
1940: Only three major textile mills are left in Lowell; shoe industry is failing; 40 percent of the population is “on relief.”
1950: Jack Kerouac publishes his first “Lowell” novel: The Town and the City
1975: First Southeast Asian refugees settle in Lowell, building toward the second-largest Cambodian American enclave in U.S. by 1990.
1976: Computer manufacturer Wang Labs opens its international headquarters in Lowell.
1978: Lowell National Historical Park is created to recognize the beginnings of the American Industrial Revolution.
1986: Charles, Prince of Wales, visits Lowell to see historic preservation in action.
1987-89: Lowell hosts the National Folk Festival three years running.
1988: Jack Kerouac commemorative sculpture and park are dedicated.
1990: First Lowell Folk Festival, now an annual tradition. Preservation magazine hails Lowell as “the relevant precedent emulated by rehabilitated gritty cities worldwide.”
1992: Wang Labs files for bankruptcy protection. Lowell native and former U.S. senator Paul Tsongas wins 8 presidential primaries and caucuses.
1996: The Lowell Spinners, a minor-league Red Sox affiliate, begin play.
2000: National Trust for Historic Preservation names Lowell one of America’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations.”
2006: UMass Lowell announces a plan to build an $80 million nanotechnology center.
2009: Brazilian, African, and Iraqi families are among Lowell’s newcomers.