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, April 12, 2020

Prepping for Patriots’ Day 2020 Online

The anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord is coming up on 19 April, so I’ll shift topics (mostly) from the Sestercentennial of the reaction to the Boston Massacre to the opening of the Revolutionary War.

Of course, right now we’re all quarantining like smallpox patients with red flags hung outside our homes. The traditional ceremonies along Battle Road have been canceled for this spring.

But local historical organizations are using technology to fill the gap a bit. For example:

There may well be other online events out there that slipped my mind tonight.

This year’s History Camp Boston also had to be postponed, from last month to, we hope, 11 July. So History Camp organizers Lee Wright and Carrie Lund are trying out a series of virtual events through the organization’s Facebook page, and I’ll be their first guest.

Lee, Carrie, and I will talk about some of the myths and realities of the Battle of Lexington and Concord in a Facebook Live conversation scheduled to start on Thursday, 16 April, at 8:00 P.M. Here’s a teaser video we made last week as we tested our technology.

This is a chance for you to ask questions, too! Are you wondering about common myths, or particular realities, of the start of the Revolutionary War? Carrie and Lee are compiling a list of queries from the comments of those Facebook postings. And I can collect them here.

We hope people will also be able to send in questions in real time during the conversation. Of course, I won’t be able to dig into those topics beforehand and appear as if I had an answer all along.


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