This Thursday, 17 March, I’ll moderate a panel at the Old South Meeting House on the topic “Where Did It Begin?” This is part of a series of lunchtime events on the start of the Revolution organized by the Education Department of the Massachusetts Historical Society. (It’s mere coincidence that the panel occurs on Evacuation Day.)
The description for our event reads:
Early in the morning on April 19, 1775, the first shots of the American Revolution were fired at Lexington Green, causing the deaths of eight colonists. But the famous “shot heard ’round the world” refers to the battle hours later in Concord [Massachusetts!] where the first British blood was spilled. A panel of local historians, moderated by historical blogger J. L. Bell, will consider the question that has provoked spirited discussion and debate between the towns for 235 years.That may sound like an invitation to rehash the feud between Lexington and Concord in the 1800s as each town claimed to be where the Revolutionary War began. But instead we’ll talk about what sort of towns those were, why war began on 19 Apr 1775, whether by other definitions it began before or after that date, and what role small unforeseen circumstances played in the grand historic events.
Joining me on the dais will be:
- Dr. Tom Beardsley, Site Manager for the Old Manse.
- Richard Kollen, historian for the Lexington Historical Society and teacher at Lexington High School.
- Bill Rose, longtime volunteer and historical reenactor at Minute Man National Historical Park.
- David Wood, Curator of the Concord Museum.