Ten years ago this past Monday, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sent the very first tweet. The message was hardly monumental (“just setting up my twttr”), but in the 10 years that Twitter has existed, it has evolved from a platform for connecting with friends to an integral part of the news cycle, allowing users to tap into exactly what’s happening as it’s happening.
Twitter is also a great source of entertainment, offering us collective joy during moments like the Red Sox winning the World Series or shared schadenfreude when our politicians go on typo-filled rants. But its impact is most evident during major breaking news events, like the tragic Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, when information (both legitimate and not) flowed fast and free on the site.
To commemorate this 10-year anniversary, here are the 10 most Boston tweets ever.
Boston’s big sports moments
This gold medal is the best accessory I've ever worn.
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) August 14, 2012
Twitter hadn’t really hit its stride until after the Red Sox and Celtics won their 2007 and 2008 championships, so aside from the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup win, Needham native Aly Raisman winning two gold medals and a bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympics was the first Boston sports triumph of the Twitter age.
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014
This selfie David Ortiz took with President Barack Obama is a perfect microcosm of sports in the Twitter era, for better or worse. On one hand, there’s no better way to commemorate your team’s victory on social media than a photo with the most powerful man in the world. On the other hand, the revelation that Ortiz was a Samsung spokesman earned the company an official White House rebuke. A viral moment tinged by self-promotion? Sounds like Twitter to us.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 3, 2015
Deflategate all started with a tweet from Indianapolis sports columnist Bob Kravitz, reporting that the NFL was investigating the Patriots for deflating footballs. Then we had the six-month saga of ESPN’s Chris Mortensen not deleting his erroneous tweet about how many footballs were underinflated and by how much. Then we had the live courtroom tweets, as Judge Richard Berman tore Roger Goodell and the NFL’s arguments to shreds, which led to the above tweet: the vindication for which Tom Brady and the Patriots fought tooth and nail. Until we hear the decision on the NFL’s appeal, anyway.
Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown had a tendency to be fairly casual with his Twitter use in 2013. This backfired in a major way one night when, for some reason, Brown began responding to every user criticizing him with some variation of “whatever,” the funniest of which was the impossibly garbled “Bqhatevwr.” Brown quickly deleted the tweets, but the Bqhatevwr campaign posters and jokes have stood the test of time.
— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) March 25, 2015
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is an active Twitter user, and during one of his live chats, he responded to the biggest news event of the day: Zayn Malik leaving pop group One Direction. Though Walsh has clashed with the site’s users, most notably when he claimed that opposition to Boston’s failed 2024 Olympic bid was little more than “10 people on Twitter,” it’s nice to see the Mayor’s playful side.
The endless winter of 2015
— Boston Yeti 2015 (@BostonYeti2015) January 27, 2015
During the endless blizzards of the winter of 2015, most of us were stuck inside, forced to work from home until the roads could be cleared. But one man — or beast — chose to brave the elements: the Boston Yeti. As silly as a man in an abominable snowman suit wandering the deserted streets of Boston may sound, the yeti kept many a snowbound Bostonian entertained, becoming the winter’s unofficial mascot in the process.
— MEMA (@MassEMA) July 14, 2015
We will never forget the record-breaking winter of 2015. But for a long time, we didn’t need to worry about forgetting, because the massive Boston snow pile just wouldn’t melt. Finally on July 14, 2015, the pile was gone, leaving behind only mounds of garbage and memories that will never melt away.
The Boston Marathon bombings
Thoughts and prayers to Boston marathon victims. Hoping for the best. #bostonstrong
— Curtis Clough (@AKCTEMan) April 15, 2013
The tragedy of the Marathon bombings resonated far beyond Boston. So it’s oddly appropriate that a Cleveland man who hadn’t been to Boston since 1976 was the first to tweet the hashtag #BostonStrong. In the days that followed the traumatic event, as Bostonians hoped the bombers would be apprehended, #BostonStrong became a rallying cry that brought our city together.
Nothing can defeat the heart of this city. Nothing. Nothing will take us down because we take care of one another. #OneBoston
— Mayor Tom Menino (@mayortommenino) April 18, 2013
Three days after the Marathon bombing, the late Mayor Tom Menino embodied the #BostonStrong spirit and said what we all needed to hear: This city is stronger than any terrorist attack, and nothing would break our spirit.
CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.
— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) April 20, 2013
The most stressful week of many Bostonians’ lives officially came to an end on the night of April 19, 2013, when SWAT team members apprehended Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, hiding in a boat in a Watertown backyard. The normally straitlaced Boston Police Department did away with formalities for the night, tweeting a decisive final word: “The terror is over. And justice has won.”
Additional reporting by Emily Anderson