Frederick Douglass birthday today. Black leader, abolitionist, orator; “The most photographed man in America” at that time. He lived in New Bedford, Nantucket, Lynn and Springfield, MA. Important connections to Boston. Born a slave, not knowing his actual birth date, he is honored today. The fight to end slavery and extend equal rights to African-Americans is part of the Freedom Trail story.
This group portrait shows 3 giants of Boston publishing. William Ticknor (right) and James T. Fields (left) operated the Ticknor & Fields publishing company at the Old Corner Bookstore at the corner of School and Washington Streets, Boston. Nathaniel Hawthorne (center) was one of their talented authors. His “Scarlet Letter” was published by T&F. Such hats, such coats! Photo by J.W. Black, whose photo studio was nearby.
It has always been hard to imagine what the Old Corner Bookstore was like in the 1820s, when publisher Ticknor & Fields flourished here. Now you can see it on your iPad, with augmented reality overlays from “Look Again”, promoted by Historic Boston, Inc. Details here: http://www.historicboston.org/ar/
Nov 28, 1942. Fire at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, in Boston’s Bay Village. 492 people died, most within minutes. Shown here, clippings and 3 of the survivors.
Archeologists have opened one of the tombs in the crypt under Old North Church. Skulls and bones in piles. Many caskets were pushed into these crypts, then moved, then more pushed in. Boston Globe article.
While the colonial forces did not really “win” the Battle of Bunker Hill, on June 17, 1775; they bashed the King’s soldiers, caused substantial casualties, and gained a popular victory. This painting by John Trumbull was made decades later. Trumbull was in the Continental army that day, and saw the battle from a distance.
A snowy evening, March 5, 1770. Here on King Street, now called State Street. Rowdy Patriot mob + squad of British soldiers. Short skirmish and surprising gunfire leaves 5 dead.
Feb 20, 1815 – decisive battle between USS Constitution and two British ships: Cyane and Levant. Victory for Constitution, her last major battle during the War of 1812.