The Feb. 27 news article “Secretary extols his beloved Bay State” reported without comment that Secretary of State John Kerry told Europeans that colonists in Massachusetts, who had originally settled there to get religious freedom for themselves, “ended up burning people at the stake in Salem.” But that isn’t true. The 19 women executed in Salem following convictions for witchcraft were all hanged, not burned. Perhaps Kerry was thinking of some of the 50,000 to 100,000 “witches” executed in Europe.

Paul H. Blackman, Arlington