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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Friday, October 30, 2009

Pope Night Rolls In Again

It’s time for my yearly pointer to the “5th of November in Boston” online exhibit I assembled for the Bostonian Society. Not just because that calendar date is coming up, but because this colonial American celebration is also the foundation of a holiday that will arrive even sooner.

Outlandish costumes, bonfires, children going door to door begging for treats, even pumpkin lanterns—all those traditions have their roots in the raucous political celebration that New Englanders called “Pope Night.”

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