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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Saturday, October 31, 2020

“Lost Holiday” Online Talk, 5 Nov.

On Thursday, 5 November, I’ll speak via Boston by Foot on the topic “Lost Holiday: How Colonial Boston Celebrated the Fifth of November.”

Our event description:
The 5th of November was a milestone in the annual calendar for the youth of Boston. On that date they got to march around town in costume, making noise, asking for money, and topping off the evening with a gang brawl and a bonfire. In accord with New England's anti-Catholicism, they called it “Pope Night.”

This talk looks at the roots of that holiday in British history, how its rituals became part of Boston's pre-Revolutionary politics, and how the Revolutionary War brought the tradition to an end.
To be sure, some of that holiday’s rituals survived—in processions during and just after the Revolutionary War that reviled Benedict Arnold; in a Portsmouth, New Hampshire, tradition called “Pork Night”; and in how modern Americans have (at least until this plague year) observed Halloween.

This talk is scheduled to begin at 7:00 P.M. Sign up through this link. In the spirit of Pope Night, the gang politely suggests a modest donation.

1 comment:

Jim Padian said...

Pennies for the Guy.