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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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Boston Massacre Week Begins!

Say, kids, what week is it? It’s Boston Massacre Week! The 5th of March is the 239th anniversary of that event, when British soldiers surrounded by an angry crowd killed four men and one boy (or two) outside Boston’s Customs House.

Nearby, as shown in the famous image created by Henry Pelham and recreated by Paul Revere, was the Town House, which is now the Old State House Museum (shown at right in its current context). Its owner, The Bostonian Society, is sponsoring several events this week to commemorate the anniversary. None of them fall on the anniversary, but we’ll leave that aside.

Friday, 6 March, at the Old South Meeting House:

Saturday, 7 March, at the Old State House:
  • 11:00 A.M. & 2:00 P.M. Little Redcoats: Kids Reenact the Massacre. Rangers from the Adams National Historical Park will lead young visitors in a bloodless reenactment of the Massacre. FREE.
  • 11:30 A.M. & 2:30 P.M. Trial of the Century. Rangers from the Adams National Historical Park host John Adams as he defends the British soldiers accused of murdering Bostonians. The audience will act as jurors deciding whether the shooting was self-defense, cold-blooded murder, or something in between. Free with museum admission.
  • 7:00 P.M. Boston Massacre Reenactment. Courageous local reenactors portray the incident that sparked the Revolution on the streets outside the Old State House. See how well the scenario I drafted last year plays out! If no one actually gets shot, it was a success. FREE.
For the rest of this week, Boston 1775 will be exploring the historical nooks and crannies of the Boston Massacre.

(Photo above by Axel R-D, courtesy of Flickr.)

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