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, March 07, 2008

2008 Massacre Event Moving Inside

Because Saturday’s weather forecast calls for heavy rain with a chance of flooding, the reenactment of the Boston Massacre outside the Old State House has had to be changed. Instead of reenacting the shootings on the sidewalk outside, the Bostonian Society and its volunteers invite visitors to come inside the museum at 7:00 P.M. for gallery talks and other presentations related to the fatal confrontation on King Street.

While people—even tourists—can stand up to rain, and wool clothing will eventually dry, muskets don’t fire well in the wet. What’s more, damp black powder can become stuck in the gun barrels and turn into a safety hazard. That was the big reason why rain brought an end to battles in Revolutionary times. Heavy rain also seems to have played a part in the quick and peaceful end of the Powder Alarm of September 1774. And the “Hurrycane” on the sixth anniversary of the Massacre kept the British army from attacking Dorchester heights.

I’ll be one of those volunteers staying dry inside the Old State House, so please come and say hello!

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