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, July 01, 2012

Celebrating Independence Week

On 2 July 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain. Two days later, the body got around to approving a public announcement of its decision. Since that Declaration had a big date up top, and got big press, its release and not the official vote came to be what we celebrate. That leaves the John Adams fan club the only folks who still observe the Second of July.

But there are plenty of things happening around Independence Day this year. The federal holiday calls in the middle of Boston’s Harborfest, with nautical celebrations, tours, and displays all week.

At Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters in Cambridge, Columbia’s Musick performs today at 4:00 P.M. Ensemble-in-Residence at King’s Chapel, this group of instrumentalists and vocalists will present ”The World of Washington: Man and Myth in Music”:
The concert includes war songs, presidential marches, welcome odes that celebrated his arrival wherever he went, chamber music from the collection of his step-daughter Nelly Custis, dance and theatrical tunes that he enjoyed as an exquisite dancer and a theater enthusiast, a small sampling of the songs lamenting his death in 1799, and festive music from 19th-century commemorations of Washington’s birthday, including a song from 1815 that later evolved into “Hail to the Chief.”
The concert will take place outdoors on the east lawn (or porch in case of rain), and is free for all.

The Bostonian Society has inaugurated Walking Tours of King Street, a guided tour from the Old State House to Long Wharf. Free with museum admission, the next few offerings are 1, 3, and 4 July at 2:30 P.M.

And of course check your local listings for more.

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