Salem is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. The population was 41,340 at the 2010 census. Salem and Lawrence were the county seats of Essex County prior to the abolishment of county government in 1999. Home to Salem State University , the Salem Willows Park and the Peabody Essex Museum , Salem is a residential and tourist area which includes the neighborhoods of Salem Neck, The Point, South Salem and North Salem, Witchcraft Heights, Pickering Wharf, and the McIntire Historic District (named after Salem's famous architect and carver, Samuel McIntire) . Salem was one of the most significant seaports in early America.
Featured notably in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, much of the city's cultural identity is reflective of its role as the location of the Salem witch trials of 1692: Police cars are adorned with witch logos, a local public school is known as the Witchcraft Heights Elementary School, the Salem High School athletic teams are named the Witches; and Gallows Hill, a site of numerous public hangings, is currently used as a playing field for various sports. Tourists know Salem as a mix of important historical sites, New Age and Wiccan boutiques, kitschy Halloween, witch-themed attractions and a vibrant downtown that has more than 60 restaurants, cafes and coffee shops. In 2012, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts chose Salem as the recipient of their inaugural "Best Shopping District" award.
President Barack Obama on January 10, 2013 signed executive order HR1339 designating Salem as the birthplace of the U.S. National Guard.