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, 2015

Big Plans for the Massacre in Boston

This is the time of year that Boston 1775 starts pinging the Department of Homeland Security servers by talking about our big plans for the Massacre.

That’s the Boston Massacre, of course, which took place on the 5th of March in 1770. This year the event will be reenacted on the evening of Saturday, 7 March, outside the Bostonian Society’s Old State House Museum—assuming that the snow has been cleared from the area. Here’s the schedule of events for that day.

10:30 A.M.
Little Redcoats and Little Bostonians
This interactive program for children explores what life was like for Bostonians and British soldiers in Boston in the months leading up to the Boston Massacre. Free; in front the Old State House.

11:00 A.M.
Blood on the Snow
Delve into the stark choices that faced the acting governor Thomas Hutchinson in the aftermath of the Massacre as shocked Bostonians demanded immediate action to prevent further bloodshed. Actors will present a scene from Patrick Gabridge’s original drama Blood on the Snow. Free with museum admission; inside the Old State House.

11:30 A.M.
Trial of the Century
Watch lawyers John Adams and Josiah Quincy defend the British soldiers accused of murdering Bostonians. Audience members are invited to act as witnesses and jurors for this celebrated case. For all ages. Free with museum admission, but space is limited; tickets go on sale at 9:00 A.M. at the Old State House Museum front desk.

1:30 P.M.
Little Redcoats and Little Bostonians reprise

2:00 P.M.
Blood on the Snow reprise

2:30 P.M.
Trial of the Century reprise

Weather permitting, volunteers may be recreating other scenes of historical conflict that afternoon outside Faneuil Hall, at the Old State House, or in other public spaces. Keep your eyes open.

7:00 P.M.
Boston Massacre Reenactment
The big event! Witness the argument, riot, and shooting reenacted in front of the Old State House, in the very area where it took place in March 1770. Before the action unfolds, hear from Patriots, Loyalists, and moderates who will talk about the events and attitudes that led to that fateful night. Free; in front of the Old State. (Once again I’ll be there as narrator.)

And if that’s not enough, on Wednesday, 11 March, from 6:00 to 7:30 P.M. the Old South Meeting House will host an event called “The Fifth of March Anniversary Orations–Speak Out!” From 1771 to 1783, the town of Boston invited prominent gentlemen to speak in memory of the Massacre at Old South Meeting House. Among the men thus commemorating the anniversary were James Lovell, Dr. Joseph Warren, Dr. Benjamin Church, and John Hancock. Hear selections from their speeches performed by an intergenerational group. Co-sponsored by the History Department of Suffolk University. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.

(And if you are from the Department of Homeland Security, come to these events! You may have some time to fill.)

1 comment:

Patrick Gabridge said...

Thanks for posting about this! We're looking forward to getting audiences a taste of our new Blood on the Snow play.