Fact-Check: No, Fall River, Massachusetts, Was Not ‘Built by Immigrants’

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) claimed the host-city of his response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, Fall River, Massachusetts was “built by immigrants.”

Fact-Check: MOSTLY FALSE

What is now Fall River was first established in the 1600s by English settlers who were not “immigrants” but colonists. A native-born family, the Bordens ran a mill in what became the town for generations before and after the American revolution. Industrialization began when Col. Joseph Durfee, a native-born Revolutionary War hero built the first factory in 1811. Later, at the end of the 19th Century a wave of immigrants swelled the town’s population. Immigrants, however, never made up a majority of the population of Bristol County, where Fall River lies, even at their early 20th Century peak.


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