Timeline of Lowell History
1877: Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates his telephone in Lowell. Two years later, Lowell is the first U.S. city to have phone numbers.
1894: Lowell Normal School for teacher education is founded, followed by Lowell Textile School a year later: roots of today’s University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
1900: 43 percent of Lowell’s population is foreign-born (Irish, French Canadian, Scottish, Greek, Polish, Italian, Armenian, Portuguese, Swedish, Lithuanian, Syrian, Lebanese, Russian, and other nationalities).
1908: Bette Davis is born in Lowell.
1912: Lowell’s labor activists organize in sync with the “Bread & Roses” strike downriver in Lawrence, MA.
1920s: Lowell’s textile industry declines, with companies moving to the South. City population peaks at 112,759.
1922: Jack Kerouac is born in Lowell.
1925: Edith Nourse Rogers represents Lowell and surrounding District 5 communities in Congress, serving through 1960: longest continuous congressional service by a woman.
1931: Harper’s Magazine describes Lowell as a “depressed industrial desert.”
1936: A major flood ravages Lowell.