April 18th, 1775, Paul Revere arranged for the lantern signal, then was rowed across the Charles River to begin his midnight ride to Lexington to raise the alarm about the arrival there of British regular soldiers.
Evacuation Day in Boston marks the departure of the British on March 17, 1776, ending the 11-month “Siege of Boston.” This painting by Gilbert Stuart shows Washington at Dorchester Heights, where he surprised the British with new fortifications and cannons. The “Evacuation” took troops and Tory citizens to Halifax, NS. In Boston, Evacuation Day a local holiday, often combined with St. Patrick’s Day. Dorchester Heights is in South Boston.
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.
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.
Boston & Lexington juggle their dates to make Patriot’s Day a monday, starting with the re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington Green at dawn. The actual battles were on April 19, 1775. These re-enactors are near the Hartwell Tavern, on Battle Road, where British troops retreated under heavy fire from local militia in the woods.