Boston…You’re My Home

Boston StrongIt’s Marathon Monday, where once again, 30,000+ brave souls from around the globe race from Hopkinton to Boston in an attempt to show who is the elitest of the fleetest of foot. This year happens to have some very special meaning for our family, as our daughter’s fiance is making his inaugural run through the city streets and winding hills in pursuit of the ultimate bragging rights of the marathoning world: “I Ran Boston”. Today, our family will be joining the thousands and thousands of onlookers and cheerleaders lining the 26 mile race route, ringing bells and holding signs to provide encouragement and support to friends, loved ones and runners who raise $$$ for their beloved charities. We will always remember the horrific marathon bombings of 2013, but we move forward as a city, remembering those who were lost, but celebrating the runners who have made tremendous strides in helping our city heal from that fateful day. So, today we celebrate Patriots Day, a Massachusetts-only holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War fought on April 19, 1775. Once again, I am re-sharing this blog that I originally posted a few years back to honor our amazing city and its citizens. This is for all of my readers, and any onlookers watching from afar who are interested in capturing the essence of the incredible, wonderful, joyful city we call Boston. So here it is:

In honor of Patriots Day, a uniquely Massachusetts holiday, a little Boston history for your reading pleasure. Facts confirmed by Wikipedia, several historical societies and my historian-in-residence, Coach.  Click on the pictures for links to websites and information.

Boston (pronounced baws-tun). The Capital of Massachusetts. The Hub. The City of Champions (see Boston Red Sox, N.E. Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins). Although significantly smaller in population than The Big Apple, what we lack in size we make up for in historic stature. We are the site of the world’s oldest marathon, begun in 1897, the Boston Marathon.We have the oldest MLB ballpark, Fenway Park (c.1912)

the Swan Boats (c.1877) in the Public Garden


and Harvard University, founded in 1636 and the alma mater of 7 US Presidents.

We are Beantown, named for Boston Baked Beans, a dish created by the Colonials, using beans cooked in molasses, a plentiful product due to the slave trade. Home of the USS Constitution, nicknamed “Old Ironsides”, (C.1787) the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat.

We are The Cradle of Liberty, founded by the Puritans in 1630, and one of the oldest cities in the United States. Our citizens were the instigators of the

American Revolution, and Boston Harbor was the site of the Boston Tea Party,  where 342 chests of tea belonging to the British East India Company were thrown from ships into the water by American patriots disguised as Mohawk Indians. The Americans were protesting both a tax on tea (taxation without representation) and the perceived monopoly of the East India Company.

Our city was also the site of The Boston Massacre, an historic incident on March 5, 1770, in which British Army soldiers killed five male civilians and injured six others.

The incident was heavily propagandized by leading patriots, such as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams to fuel animosity toward the British authorities. Which finally led to the legendary Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (the reason for this holiday!)

Penned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1860, this poem details Revere’s April 18th journey by horseback from Charlestown to Lexington & Concord to warn the townspeople to take up arms in defense of the oncoming British invasion.

“…He said to his friend, “If the British march By land or sea from the town to-night, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Church tower as a signal light,– One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country folk to be up and to arm.” 

The British, whose militia ships were in Boston Harbor, awaiting orders to begin their march to Concord, where they were to destroy supplies and munitions being stored by the local militia of soldiers and townsfolk.

Revere’s plan was to make his way there ahead of the advancing British troops, alerting the locals along the way of the impending British invasion. On the night of April 18, 1775,  alerted by the two lanterns hanging in the Old North Church, indicating the British would be advancing in boats over the Charles River, Revere began his historic journey on horseback. He traveled from Charlestown to Concord, alerting the local minutemen of the advancing regiments. Captured and released by the British, he made his way to The Old North Bridge, the site of the Battles of Lexington and Concord 

on April 19, 1775, the beginning of the American Revolution. And the rest, shall we say, is history. Yes, you do need to know this for the exam. No, you cannot bring your musket to class for show and tell. Whether this is a holiday for you or not, enjoy the day. And whether you are running or watching the Boston Marathon  today, be safe, be proud of our great city and stay Boston Strong. Have a fantastic day everyone! And GO CHRIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxo Susan

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