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, November 05, 2021

The Road to Concord Leads to History Happy Hour, 7 Nov.

On Sunday, 7 November, I’ll be the guest on History Happy Hour, a weekly video conversation with Chris Anderson and Rick Beyer of Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours.

Folks around here remember Rick from his years in Lexington. He created the film “First Shot!: The Day the Revolution Began” and accompanying book and helped to establish the reenactment of the town’s 1773 tea-burning as an annual event. A few years back, I got to work with Rick and the Lexington Historical Society on the Buckman Tavern exhibit “#Alarmed!: 18th-Century Social Media.”

Since then Rick has moved to Chicago and published the book Rivals Unto Death about Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

Cohost Chris Anderson is a former editor of WWII Magazine, now based in London. He’s published numerous books about World War 2 and, in healthy times, leads tours of the European Theater.

We’re going to discuss The Road to Concord:
a tale you likely have never heard about the lead-up to the famous battles of Lexington and Concord. Discover the secret story of the role played by four stolen cannons. Both Redcoats and Patriots alike had reason to keep this hot take under wraps, and both sides succeeded well enough that the full story has never appeared until now.
I’m sure Rick will be pleased to hear that since publishing the book I’ve learned more about how Lexington was involved in the Massachusetts Provincial Congress’s effort to build up an artillery force by hook or crook.

Anderson and Beyer have two more discussions on Revolutionary history scheduled this month:
  • 14 November: Mike Duncan, author, Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution
  • 21 November: Andrew Roberts, author, The Last King of America, about George III
Folks can watch the conversations live on the History Happy Hour website and its Facebook page. We’re scheduled to start at 4:00 P.M. on Sunday, Boston time. Eventually the videos go up on YouTube as well.

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