Salem is a city on the north coast of Massachusetts above Boston. At its peak between 1776 and 1812, it was the busiest trading port in the United States and the sixth largest city. Salem is home to America's first National historic site (Salem Maritime), is also the birthplace of the National Guard and best known for its 1692 witch trials.
The town is famous for its 1692 witch trials, during which several locals were executed for allegedly practicing witchcraft. The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the Devil's magic—and a total of 20 were executed. Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted. Landmarks from this episode include the Witch House, the former home of a trial judge.
In January of 2013, President Barack Obama signed legislation sponsored by Massachusetts Congressman John Tierney, which officially designated Salem as the birthplace of the National Guard. Salem is also where the first ever outdoor gymnasium in the U.S was set up in 1821 at the Salem Latin School.
In August 1992, to mark the 300th anniversary of the trials, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel dedicated the Witch Trials Memorial in Salem. Founded by Roger Conant and a group of immigrants from Cape Ann. The settlement was first titled Naumkeag, but the settlers preferred to call it Salem, derived from the Hebrew word for peace. The Peabody Essex Museum has a massive collection of global art and artifacts, including a rebuilt Qing-era Chinese house. Salem is often listed as a top spot for Halloween season getaways.
The classic Halloween hit movie Hocus Pocus was filmed at numerous locations in Salem. Salem is also considered one of Massachusetts’ best destinations for families, couples, domestic and international travelers who are seeking an authentic New England experience, cultural enrichment, American history, fine dining, unique shopping and fun.
Salem is home to America's First National historic site: