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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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

“Happy Holidays” Follow-up

In today’s Boston Globe, columnist Alex Beam quotes me and Prof. David Hackett Fischer on what other Revolutionary holidays Massachusetts could add to (or substitute for) our current selection of Evacuation Day (17 March), Patriots’ Day (19 April), Bunker Hill Day (17 June), and the Fourth of July (um, 4 July).

How about Massacre Day (5 March)? Pope Night (5 November)? Or my most serious suggestion, Powder Alarm Day (2 September), which could be the equivalent of Evacuation Day for Massachusetts outside of Boston?

One clarification: During what became known as the “Powder Alarm” the 4,000 militiamen who crowded into Cambridge intimidated members of the governor’s Council, not the city council—which didn’t exist yet.

4 comments:

Kim said...

I think the two holidays should stay the same as they have been. Now they talk about the cost of the day off for Suffolk County employees. What about the cost of the lives that were involved and should be remembered.

Mitali Perkins said...

This is indeed a superbly written blog.

Rick Beyer said...

Tea Party Day--December 16. (Of course in Lexington we would celebrate it 3 days early, on December 13, the day we burned our tea!)

J. L. Bell said...

I listed Tea Party Day for Alex Beam as well, but it didn’t make the column.

There were tea protests of various sorts up and down the Atlantic coast. Some, like Concord, involved symbolically destroying tea that was already on the market, and on which any duties had already been paid.

The Boston action struck at the new Tea Act by destroying a huge quantity of tea just before the duty was officially due, thus hurting both the British government and the East India Company.