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 05, 2010

Boston Massacre On Its Way!

Today is the 240th anniversary of the Boston Massacre, which will be commemorated at the Old State House tomorrow. (Back in colonial Boston, the town would postpone the anniversary commemorations for a day if 5 March fell on a Sunday; now we do so if it falls on a workday.)

The Bostonian Society, Adams National Historical Park, and some of the area’s most dedicated Revolutionary reenactors are teaming up to recreate the Massacre and subsequent events in three ways on Saturday, 6 Mar 2010.

Kids Reenact the Massacre
11:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M.
Free; on the mall outside of the Old State House.
With little red coats and styrofoam snowballs, young visitors will be the stars in a recreation of the Boston Massacre led by rangers from the Adams National Historical Park.

Trial of the Century
11:30 A.M. and 2:30 P.M.
Free with museum admission; in the Old State House.
Immediately following the Kids’ Reenactment, come inside to watch patriot 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. Space is limited; tickets for both performances go on sale at 9:00 a.m. at the Old State House.

Boston Massacre Reenactment
7:00 P.M.
Free; in front of the Old State House, at the corner of State and Congress Streets.
Witness the event that sparked the American Revolution! Become a part of this infamous event as it is reenacted in front of the Old State House, in the very place where it took place in 1770. Decide for yourself if the soldiers fired into the crowd in self-defense or cold-blooded murder. Before the action unfolds, hear from patriots, loyalists, and moderates who will talk about the events and attitudes that led to that fateful night.

One of the most important words in that last description is “hear.” This year the Bostonian Society found funding to wire more of the presenters for sound. Which means that (as long as the wireless microphones don’t pick up police dispatches, cell-phone calls, or other stray transmissions) more spectators should be able to hear the words I scripted for various historical figures last year. Listen to the political and social arguments that led up to the fatal confrontation on King Street!


Robert S. Paul said...

240th anniversary, not 210th. That would place it in 1800.

J. L. Bell said...

Thanks! I typed this after typing a lot of other stuff, and both eyes and brain were bleary.