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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Monday, March 10, 2014

Ray Raphael on Worcester in Worcester, 13 Mar.

On Thursday, 13 March, the Worcester Historical Museum will host a lecture and public discussion with Ray Raphael titled “The Worcester Revolution of 1774.”

The local description, slightly edited:
In September of 1774, 4,622 militiamen lined both sides of Worcester’s Main Street and forced the British Crown’s appointed court officials to walk the gantlet, hats in hand, reciting their recantations over 30 times apiece. This dramatic display ended British authority in Worcester County half a year before the “shot heard around the world.” This event signaled the beginning of America s revolution.

Join historian Ray Raphael as he discusses the rich story of Worcester’s “1774 Revolution” and his groundbreaking book The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord. Mr. Raphael’s extensive research sheds light on this often overlooked episode in American history and reasserts Worcester’s key role as the heart of American resistance. This program is part of a larger series, held throughout 2014, to honor Worcester’s role in the American Revolution and includes the first-ever reenactment of the expelling of the British from Worcester this September.
Ray is a Senior Research Fellow at Humboldt State University in California. His books include Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past, A People’s History of the American Revolution, Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive, and Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How to Get It Right.

This event starts at 7:00 P.M. It’s free, and the announcement includes these unfathomable notes for locals:
Public Woo Card: 2 for 1 admission
College Woo Card: Swipe for Woo Points
For folks who can’t make that event, here’s a video of Ray speaking to teens in California about the democratic nature of footnotes. I agree with his argument that showing and discussing one’s sources is inherently democratic. But I also note how for decades scholars fought a rearguard action against just any readers by using Latin jargon (Ibid., Op. cit.) in their notes.

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