J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Massacre Anniversary Week in Boston

In the upcoming week, two of Boston’s historical sites will observe the 238th anniversary of the Boston Massacre. The actual anniversary on Wednesday, 5 March, will be observed with oratory. This year the dramatic reenactment of the event will take place on Saturday, 8 March, to allow more people to attend.

Wednesday, 5 March
9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
The Bostonian Society’s Old State House Museum, backdrop of the shootings (the center tower in the little image here), will be open for free all day. See the coroner’s jury report on Crispus Attucks, prints depicting the shootings in vivid color, and more.

6:30 P.M.
The Old South Meeting House, site of annual orations commemorating the Massacre from 1771 to 1783, will host an event recalling those speeches. High school students will read the words of such pre-Revolutionary orators as John Hancock and Dr. Joseph Warren, and of John Rock, an African-American dentist who addressed the memory of Attucks in speaking for Abolition before the Civil War. Suffolk University history professor Robert Allison will narrate this free event.

Saturday, 8 March
11:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M.
“Kids Reenact the Massacre”: Young visitors will walk through a reenactment of the confrontation outside the Old State House, with coaching from the rangers of the Adams National Historical Park. (No actual young visitors will be harmed in the making of this reenactment.)

11:30 A.M. and 2:30 P.M.
“Trial of the Century”: Another program from the Adams Park rangers and friends, acting out the trial of the British soldiers charged with murder. Audience members will be invited to act as witnesses and jurors. Inside the Old State House; free with museum admission.

4:00 P.M. to 6:30 P.M.
Printmaker and historical tour guide Gary Gregory will show how Paul Revere engraved and printed his provocative image of the Massacre, using a replica copperplate press. Inside the Old State House; free with museum admission.

7:00 P.M. into the night
Boston Massacre Reenactment
Local military and civilian reenactment groups will act out the famous incident outside the Old State House. Watch, listen, and interact with the people of 1770 Boston. The Bostonian Society invites people to come into the museum after the event for light refreshments with the reenactors. Free, with donations appreciated.

1 comment:

J. L. Bell said...

Folks might also want to check out the Old South Meeting House’s March programs on the theme “Revolutionary Ideals, Modern Debate.” Here is the event calendar.