After the economic hardships of the Great Depression during the 1930s, Massachusetts’s economy recovered during World War II (1939-1945). The state’s outstanding contribution to the war effort was in research and technological development. Numerous university and private scientific research centers opened in the 1940s. This trend continued after the war and helped make Massachusetts a leader in the electronics and aerospace industries, as its traditional textile and leather industries continued to decline.
The Republican Party, born out of opposition to slavery before the Civil War, dominated Massachusetts politics until 1931. The economic Depression of the 1930s brought Democrats into power nationally, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945), and in Massachusetts. Democratic governors were elected until 1939, and after that the governor’s office alternated between the two major parties. The Republicans controlled the state legislature from the Civil War until 1958, when for the first time the state elected both a Democratic governor and legislature.
The 1950s saw the rise of one of America’s most famous and influential political families, the Kennedys of Massachusetts.
This rise was engineered by the patriarch of the family, businessman Joseph P. Kennedy. In 1960 his son John F. Kennedy, a Democratic senator and former representative from Massachusetts, was elected president of the United States and was assassinated three years later. His brother Robert F. Kennedy served as U.S. attorney general and U.S. senator from New York before he was assassinated in 1968 while campaigning for the presidency. In 1962 their younger brother, Edward M. Kennedy, was elected a Democratic senator from Massachusetts. A leader among liberal Democrats, Edward Kennedy unsuccessfully sought the party’s nomination for the presidency in 1976 but continued to serve in the Senate. In the 1980s and 1990s a second generation of Kennedys entered Congress, including Joseph P. Kennedy II from Massachusetts, and Patrick J. Kennedy from Rhode Island. "Massachusetts" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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