Friday, March 16, 2018

Kids and History: Bringing the Past to Life in the Age of Electronics

Imagine you are a school-aged kid. It doesn't matter what age: it could be elementary school, middle school, or high school. But think back to that time...and your teacher was having someone come in to give a presentation on history. You were probably excited because you knew you were going to get out of class for a while. But after a few minutes with this natty-dressed person trying to explain the Revolutionary War or the Civil War or any other American historical event, you were ready to head back to class. The droning voice of the man or woman standing there in their suit and tie or librarian-style dress just seemed to go on forever!
Yeah...I remember what that was like - - - - do I ever!
Well, there are some schools trying to make boring old history fun and personal for the kids.
And I have happily played a part in our area.
My friend (and partner in time) Larissa and I have formed our own historical interpreter group we call "Our Own Snug Fireside," and we travel around to various schools, libraries, historical societies, and even reenactments, to speak about everyday life in the past. We have even presented as the historical Patriot figures of Paul Revere and Sybil Ludington (we are sometimes joined by a third member of our group who portrays Benjamin Franklin). One of the things we have learned over the years was how to speak to the younger set in a way they can understand without dumbing it down; rather, we try to convey our 'lesson' in a manner that they can identify with.
And it works very well.
Not too long ago, Larissa and I spoke to the kids at a school in Detroit. We gave them our everyday life in the 1860s presentation, and in doing so we kind of spoke as if we were their parents. We described what their daily chores would have been 
as well as the type of entertainments they would have had rather than their modern electronics.
The thing about speaking to children is they really do get excited about us being there and appreciate all that we put into our presentation. We try to work their lives of today into what their lives may have been like in the past, and their response is usually pretty thought-provoking.
Holding up farm tools, such as a sickle used in farming...
...or objects from inside the home, such as this tin candle holder with a beeswax candle made from a tin mold, allowed them to see, first hand, a little bit of the 1860s come to life. In fact, if you look behind Larissa, you can see a few other period items sitting on the table, including a chamber pot, oil lamp, and butter paddle.

Teaching the students about everyday life through sight, sound, and touch in the era of the Revolutionary War is one of our specialties, and the interest of this time in America's history seems to be growing, much to my happiness.

I work as a high school classroom paraprofessional (i.e., a sort of teacher's aid), and one of the classes I help in is an American History class. Well, yeah...I have the connections, and as such, many of my living history friends have helped out by willingly coming to my school to speak to our kids.
How cool is that?
My friend (and fellow reenactor) Jillian portrays Civil War nurse Annie Ethridge, and she very willingly and happily came to our American History class to show the students a little of this young woman's opportunities in helping out the military in as many ways as a female in the 1860s was able to, including nursing duties.
Yes, she is carrying cloth bandages that she made.
But they were not nearly enough...

More material to be cut into strips for the wounded men of the north, and the students helped her, and some even wore the bandages as if they were wounded.
Jillian, who also works as a historic presenter at Greenfield Village, really engaged the kids, and they enjoyed having such a guest in their classroom.
Seeing that we had a female speak of her Civil War adventures, we thought to also have men of color give us a telling of their heroics during that bloody war as well.
I was pretty excited to have my friends in the 102nd US Colored Infantry come to the high school where I work to speak to the kids about the military lives of African Americans during the Civil War. They gave our students an eye-opening history lesson that only recently has been told. The kids were riveted.
The guys passed around a few items in their Civil War collection, including a 58 caliber bullet.

I am very pleased that, in this day of anti-gun, my school understands that the musketry the men from the 102nd brought in are historical and, because they played a large role in their presentation, were allowed to bring their guns in without concern.

The school where I work is pretty open to having presenters come in and teach the kids about life in the past. We have a leisure and enrichment class for who we call 'super seniors' - kids that have graduated but have stayed on for further instruction to help them in various aspects of their lives. These childr----I mean, adults have physical or otherwise health impairments, and therefore may need a little extra help and instruction to guide their futures. And every once in a while we like to have a little fun lesson, including from my favorite subject. These students just love the opportunity to learn new fun things, even if it's an old craft such as making a corn husk doll.
Now Candy, seen here, is a Civil War era reenactor, and she has made corn husk dolls for our Harvest presentation we put on every fall. So last autumn we had her come in and show the class this craft.
No, she didn't dress in her period clothing, but since this is not one of our history classes, we can forgive her (haha).
The girls especially were excited about this old-time doll-making and paid close attention in order to try to make their own, as you see below:
In fact, November of 2017 was deemed "old-time month" for the class, and I was happy to be able to get a couple of my friends to come in to entertain the kids, such as Candy (above) and Pearl the fiddle player (below).
If you look near the center of this picture, you will see my friend Pearl, also a Civil War era reenactor, posing with the kids, fiddle in hand. She played a few of the old-time songs that they were somewhat familiar with, including Goober Peas, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, and Old Susannah.
Again, they loved hearing the music, even if their favorite tunes comes from 
the top 40 stations of today.

Do you know what else we did for old time month?
Yes! We made home made ice cream from a period recipe!
I brought in my own ice cream maker - the very same one we use during out historic reenactments - and let the kids turn the crank to churn the ingredients into a Victorian delight.

No, I did not wear my period clothing for this. But, like everyone else, the students thoroughly enjoyed this period experience.
(above picture courtesy of C&G Newspapers)

And just looked how it turned out:

To be honest, since these kids have not been at or experienced a historic reenactment, this sort of activity is very exciting for them, but their modern taste buds are not acclimated to those of the 1860s, therefore they were not too keen on the cream. However, a few of them liked it a lot!
Either way, at least they got to try it.

We have a captive audience in schools, but how about in other areas? Do you think young kids might have an interest in history outside of school?
Statue or the real deal?
The Plymouth (Michigan) Museum's "A Night at the Museum" is really a fun and exciting way to help kids celebrate and learn about America's past. The Museum, not too far from Detroit, will, for a fee, show one of the "Night at the Museum" movies to the young ones in the small hall on the bottom floor. When the film ends, the kids will then enter the main museum. As they walk around, they notice 'statues' of historical figures dotting the area, and when they hold up the "Tablet of Akmenrah," they discover that not all is as it seems. This tablet is a recreation of the one used in the movies that brings the statues to life, which the children soon realize seemingly works in this Museum as well. 
These statures, as you may have guessed, are reenactors, and they silently wait for the kids to bring them to life with the Egyptian tablet. Now, I've been doing this 'event' for a number of years, and, more than anything else, it is seeing the excitement emanating from the kid's faces as each character comes to life. To see lovers of history at such a young age (usually the ages range from seven to about 12 years old) makes me get just as excited as the kids. It tells me the future of the past will hopefully be in good hands.
Hopefully. Time will tell. 
So - - would you like to see the late winter edition of Plymouth Museum's version of "A Night at the Museum"? It was with the local Cub Scout troop, and these kids were very excited as well as respectful, and it was easy to see they were very interested in what the living historians had to say.
The tour began with the 1st Lutheran pastor in Michigan, ---------
Guy Purdue portrayed Friedrich Schmidt, the first Lutheran pastor in Michigan. 
In the mid-19th century, Schmid founded more than 20 churches in Michigan, from Ann Arbor to Saginaw.
(Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum and Marty Kerstens)

Next up we have a real Pirate of the Caribbean, Mrs. Anne (McCormac / Cormac) Bonny, famous female pirate who was born in Ireland around 1700 and was brought over to Charles Town, South Carolina by her father. Anne married a man named James Bonny, much to the dismay of her father (who disowned her), and the two moved to the Bahamas where Annie fell in with a number of pirates living there.
Anne Bonny tried to entice the scouts to join her crew. Some were willing!
(Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum and Marty Kerstens)

As I've been doing since 2014, I come as Paul Revere.
(Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum and Marty Kerstens)
I only have 5 to 7 minutes to speak, so I concentrate on my famous ride that took place on the night of April 18, 1775
This year I began my turn by reciting the first few lines of Longfellow's poem, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." I tell them how honored I am to have such a poem about me. Of course, I then go on to explain that many of the verses are not telling the true story, of which I then proceed to correct for the kids.
(Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum and Marty Kerstens)
The Cub Scouts responded with such enthusiasm. And I let them know that just over a year after my ride that we, the colonists of the thirteen colonies, have claimed independence from England and we now consider ourselves a free nation known as The United States of America.
I am a firm believer in instilling patriotism, and I hope what I do here helps.

Let's jump about a hundred years (or so) into the future from Paul Revere's time to visit Thomas Edison.
Inventor Thomas Edison created, with help from his his workers, such great innovations as the telegraph, phonograph, the first commercially practical incandescent electric light bulb, alkaline storage batteries and the Kinetograph (a camera for motion pictures).
This reenactor really did a fine job in his attempt to 'become' the great inventor
(Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum and Marty Kerstens)

And now we go to the Civil War - -
Mike has portrayed a Civil War chaplain for something like 15+ years. He prays over the "wounded and dying" men after battles, reads letters from home to those who have a hard time reading, and has actually performed real period-style wedding ceremonies at reenactments and inside historic buildings, for he is truly an ordained minister. Thus, the kids hear of his adventures during the most tumultuous time in America's history.
(Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum and Marty Kerstens)
The final stop on the "Night at the Museum" tour is none other than a visit with Abraham Lincoln. A foremost Lincoln scholar, Fred Priebe has been portraying our 16th president for 20 years. When Fred puts on his Lincoln clothing, he becomes the president, and stories flow of his early life as a young boy, or a bit older as a lawyer, and even his time as President. He has memorized the famous (and a few not-so-famous) speeches, so he is ready no matter what the history-loving public may want to hear. I've been to his cabin (yes, he lives in a log cabin home) to see his extreme Lincoln library - he has hundreds of books in his collection to draw information from.
Simply amazing!
Yes, we in the Michigan Civil War reenacting world believe him to be our Abraham Lincoln.
All of the reenactors involved did a fine job, but I believe this man was the favorite for these scouts. He told stories of his youth, taking the boys back to when he was right around their age, and they really enjoyed hearing them. It put flesh on the bones of this almost mythical figure in a way they could relate to.
And that, to me, is what it is all about.
(Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum and Marty Kerstens)

And because of Mr. Priebe's uncanny look in comparison to the 16th President, I am sure each Cub Scout left the room feeling as if they met President Lincoln.
(Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum and Marty Kerstens)

Imagine if you were one of these Cub Scouts - how would you feel if you were surrounded by all of this history that came to life?
Me? Man! I would have thought I was in heaven and wouldn't want it to end!

(Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum and Marty Kerstens)

And finally, let's head back to the high school where I work. My son, Tom, is a former reenactor. Now with wife and children, he holds down a pretty decent job as well as performs as a musician in various locations in Michigan (and other parts of the U.S. and even Europe!).
But he came in to give the students a lesson on the guitar. He also
performed a few songs for them, including a couple by the Beatles.
They loved it! And even though it wasn't necessarily history per se', it still was a wonderful lesson the students enjoyed and gave them a chance to hear a live musician, something that doesn't happen often for many of them.

Helping kids get into history, and showing them that it can be exciting and fun rather than bland and boring, is, to me, of utmost importance. In this age of gaming and electronics, it is our job to bring them into the world of the past and make sure their interest is held. me it's our duty.

Until next time, see you in time.

~   ~  ~

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Bloody Massacre In King Street - Boston - On March 5th 1770 (aka The Boston Massacre)

~This is not an in-depth, encyclopedic look at what happened on the 5th of March in 1770. Rather, it is an overview from a variety of sources in hopes of maybe teaching those who are unaware or even unfamiliar of the story of the Boston Massacre and events leading up to it. I thought it my turn to tell this story, and even speak of what happened in the days leading up to it.
Numerous links are included for further study, if the reader so desires ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

On Friday the second Inst. A Quarrel arose between some of the Soldiers of the XXIXth, and the Ropemakers Journeymen and Apprentices, which was carried on to that Length as to become dangerous to the Lives of each Party: this contentious Disposition continued until the Monday Evening following, when a Party of seven or eight Soldiers, detached from the Main Guard under the Command of Capt. Preston, and by his Orders fired upon the Inhabitants promiscuously in King street without the least warning of their Intention, and killed three on the spot, another has since died of his wounds, and others are dangerously not to say mortally wounded; 
Capt. Preston and his Party are now in Goal.
The Essex Gazette
March 20, 1770
(taken from Todd Andrlik's magnificent book, Reporting the Revolutionary War)

"Fire if you and be damned, we know you dare not!"
My Lord, how did we come to this?

Stamp Act symbol from 1765
Beginning in 1765 and continuing through the rest of the 1760s, Britain's Parliament decided to levy taxes on its colonies to help pay for the recent French and Indian War. The resistance and protests of the colonists against such acts as the Stamp Act (1765) and Townsend Acts (1767) proved to be a fateful move for both countries. The Stamp Act required colonists to buy stamps from royal collectors and affix them to a wide variety of printed materials, including legal documents, playing cards, newspapers, and land titles. The stamps were to be purchased with sterling rather than local paper. 
The Stamp Act galvanized colonial society and engendered widespread resistance, serving as a unifying force among the individual colonies. 
John Dickenson's book from 1769
Due to this unexpected protest, the Stamp Act was nullified in March of 1766. The following year saw another series of 'Acts' placed upon the colonists: the Townshend Acts placed an indirect tax on glass, lead, paints, paper and tea imported into the colonies from Britain. This form of generating revenue was Chancellor Charles Townshend's response to the failure of the Stamp Act. However, the import duties proved to be similarly controversial. Colonial displeasure over the Townshend Acts was predominantly driven by John Dickinson’s anonymous publication of Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, as well as the Massachusetts Circular Letter, which was a statement written by Samuel Adams and James Otis Jr., in response to and against the Townsend Acts and, in part, urging its sister colonies to resist as one. Because of the protests, the taxes were to be enforced by way of new customs officers, many of which were corrupt. 
When these hated men appeared in Boston, however, resistance grew, and more than one commissions officer was "much abused" by members of the Sons of Liberty.
The British government answered Boston's defiance with a massive show of force. On September 30, 1768, a British fleet sailed into Boston Harbor, their decks cleared for action and cannon trained on the town. 
The coming of the regulars increased the violence in Boston. The soldiers were sometimes aggressors, but often they were also the victims of assaults by angry townsmen. 

The murder of Christopher Seider
February 22, 1770 was a cold dreary winter day. Christopher Seider, along with a dozen other school “Liberty” boys, were among an angry mob throwing rocks at the shop of a Loyalist merchant, Theophilus Lillie. Anti-British sentiment was high. Another Loyalist, Ebenezer Richardson, who worked as a confidential informant to the Attorney General and Customs service, had tried to disperse the protest in front of Lillie's shop, but had rocks also thrown at him. He went back to his house for his musket, and then climbed up to the second floor of the two story building. The crowd continued to throw stones, which broke Richardson's windows and struck his wife. Richardson tried to scare them by firing a gun into the crowd, but instead, the ball had hit young Christopher Seider in the arm and the chest. The eleven year old died that evening, around nine o’clock.
After Christopher was shot, the angry mob dragged Ebenezer to jail while Seider's body was taken to Faneuil Hall. (Faneuil Hall was a large market building that served as a meeting place for Patriots on the eve of the American Revolution. Meetings to discuss the Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre, the “tea crisis,” and other grievances with Britain were all held at Faneuil Hall between 1764 and 1775.) 
With Seider's death, the leaders of the Sons of Liberty, most notably Samuel Adams, attempted to rally the people of Boston to their cause. A funeral procession of five thousand Bostonians took place for the young boy four days later, on February 26. His casket, inscribed with "innocence itself is not safe" and “the serpent is lurking in the grass,” was carried from Faneuil Hall, past the Town House where the governor and council met, down to the Liberty Tree, and to the Granary Burying Ground. His body was laid to rest there. People left flowers as a tribute. Sam Adams called Christopher "the first martyr to American liberty." As for Ebenezer Richardson, the loyalist judges found him guilty of murder but his sentence was delayed because they felt he would receive a pardon from London, which did occur a number of years later.
Christopher Seider's death united the citizens of Boston against the British. Governor Hutchinson wrote, “If it had been in their power to have brought (Christopher Seider) to life again, (they) would not have done it but would have chosen the grand funeral, which brought many thousands together, and the solemn procession from Liberty Tree.” One British officer said that “The insolence as well as utter hatred of the inhabitants to the troops increased daily.”

Here lies those who were slain...
including Christopher Seider
(Picture courtesy of Atlas Obscura)
Monday, the 5th of March, 1770, was snowy and cold at first, but gradually clearing and warmer. It's said that it was on this day that a wigmaker's apprentice, Edward Garrick, publicly accused British officer, John Goldfinch, of failing to pay a bill. The officer did not respond, but a lone sentry, Hugh White, who was a guard at the customhouse, did by stating that the Captain was a gentleman, and if he owed anything, that he would pay it.
The apprentice replied that there were no gentlemen left in the regiment, causing the sentry to stand up for the honor of his troops. Garrick was struck with the butt of White's musket, knocking him to the ground. As the apprentice cried in pain, one of his companions began to argue with the sentry, which quickly attracted a crowd. Some of them started hurling pieces of ice at the guard, who retreated to the safety of the courthouse.  As the evening progressed, the crowd grew larger and more boisterous. John Adams, during his defense of the soldiers, described the crowd as "a motley rabble of saucy boys, negroes and mulattoes, Irish teagues, and outlandish Jack tars (sailors)."
British captain Thomas Preston led twelve men and a non-commissioned officer to the courthouse "to protect both the sentry and the King's money." 
About a hundred colonists armed with clubs and other weapons had gathered in front of the building, and, as Preston stated during the trial, were threatening "to execute their vengeance" on White.
According to eyewitnesses, Preston lined his men by twos in a column and, with empty muskets but fixed bayonets, moved across King street to protect their sentry.
The evening of March 5th, 1770.
Not lined up by twos, but I believe you get the picture.
And now, close on nine o'clock the bell of the Old Meeting began to ring as though for fire. All over Boston doors flew open and windows went up.
"Where is the fire?"
"The regulars are cutting and slashing everyone."
"They are cutting down the Liberty Tree."
"The regulars are massacring the people."
And that other cry from the gates on the Neck to Copp's Hill, "Town-born, turn, turn out." (Esther Forbes)
Many thought the town was on fire and rushed into the streets carrying their fire-buckets.
When Preston and his men reached Private White on the custom house stairs, the soldiers loaded their muskets, and arrayed themselves in a semicircular formation. Preston shouted at the crowd, which, by now was estimated to be a number between three and four hundred, to disperse.
After White fell into the ranks, Preston attempted to march the men back to the barracks, but the mob blocked their way. The crowd screamed threats and bombarded the troops with snowballs, ice chunks, oyster shells, rocks, and sticks.
The Boston Gazette, a week later, printed this account:
"Capt. Preston with a party of men and charged bayonets, came from the main guard to the commissioner's house, the soldiers pushing their bayonets, crying 'make way!' They took place by the custom house and, continuing to push to drive the people off, pricked some in several places, on which they were clamorous and, it is said, threw snow balls.
According to Preston, "The mob still increased and were more outrageous...calling out, 'come on you rascals, you bloody if you dare G-damn you, fire and be damned, we know you dare not.'"
Now, according to the Boston Gazette, as the crowd pressed closer, "the Captain commanded (his men) to fire; and as more snow and ice balls were thrown he again said, Damn you fire, be the consequences what it will.' One soldier then fired, and a townsmen with a cudgel (club) struck him over the hands with such force that he dropped his firelock; and, rushing forward aimed a blow at the captain's head..."
A 1901 image by Francis Luis Mora, published in Harper’s Magazine, retains Revere’s menacing Redcoats (made more menacing by the perspective) and even the dog which he placed in the middle of the event.
Back to Preston: "One of the soldiers having received a severe blow with a stick, stepped a little on one side and instantly fired, and on turning to and asking him why he fired without orders, I was struck with a club on my arm...a general attack was made on the men by a great number of heavy which all our lives were in imminent danger, some persons at the same time from behind calling out, 'Damn your bloods---why don't you fire?' Instantly three or four of the soldiers fired, one after another, and directly after three more in the same confusion and hurry. On my asking the soldiers why they fired without orders, they said they heard the word fire and supposed it came from me. This might be the case as many of the mob called out fire, fire."
Three from the crowd were killed on the spot: sailor Crispus Attucks, ropemaker Samuel Gray, and a mariner named James Caldwell, and eight others were wounded, two of which died later (Samuel Maverick and Patrick Carr).
Some accounts have said that Crispus Attucks, a forty-seven year old escaped slave and now sailor, grabbed the musket held by a soldier and knocked the man to the ground. The soldier scrambled to his feet and shouted, "Damn you, fire!" and triggered a blast into Attucks, and the other soldiers, following suit, fired into the crowd. Other reports claim the soldier was "jostled" and, in panic, fixed his musket aimlessly with the other troops, hearing that shot and thinking they heard a command to fire, began shooting.
Unbiased witnesses, close to Preston at the moment, agreed that he did not shout "fire."
An obituary for four of the five
A town meeting was called demanding the removal of the British and for the trial of Captain Preston and his troops for murder, and before sunrise, Prescott and eight men were under arrest. They were to be tried immediately and the feeling was so high that no jury could possibly be found in Boston who would not have them convicted.
It would not be until October of that year that the trial for Preston and his men would occur.
In an effort to demonstrate the impartiality of colonial courts, two Patriot leaders, John Adams and Josiah Quincy, volunteered to defend the accused. The prosecution produced little evidence, and Preston and six of the soldiers were acquitted; two others were found guilty of manslaughter, branded on the hand, and released. Although many Patriots criticized the verdicts and the anniversary of the Boston Massacre became a patriotic holiday, the removal of troops from Boston and the repeal of all but one of the contested import duties resulted in a lowering of tension in the years following the incident. Nevertheless, Governor Hutchinson’s reluctant removal of troops from Boston under threat of insurrection dramatized the weakening of imperial power as it was then constituted when faced with organized local resistance.
Ben Franklin had warned the British earlier that they were "putting young soldiers, who are by nature insolent, in the midst of a people who consider themselves threatened and oppressed. It's like setting up a blacksmith's forge in a magazine of gunpowder."
And now the gunpowder has exploded. Local engraver (and silversmith) Paul Revere copied a sensationalized depiction of what became known as the Bloody Massacre of Boston, unabashedly taking as his own, almost in complete detail, from an original print by Henry Pelham, who was understandably upset.
Not long after the incident, Henry Pelham, an established artist and engraver in Boston, showed his drawing to Paul Revere.
It didn't take long for Revere to make his own version of Pelham's engraving.
In fact, before Pelham's could be printed, Revere liberally borrowed (shall we say) from Pelham's work to create, print, and distribute his own remarkably similar version of the scene. As fate would dictate, it was Revere's print ― entitled "The Bloody Massacre" and bearing the mark "Engrav'd Printed & Sold by PAUL REVERE Boston" ― that would gain widespread circulation. The Revere print is today recognized as having been one of the most important pieces of political propaganda in America's early history, helping to instigate the anti-British feeling in the Colonies that a few years later would lead to all-out revolt. 
(This is a photograph of an original Paul Revere print located in the Henry Ford Museum exhibit)
Pelham's response?
Thursday Morng. Boston, March 29, 1770.
When I heard that you were cutting a plate of the late Murder, I thought it impossible, as I knew you was not capable of doing it unless you coppied it from mine and as I thought I had entrusted it in the hands of a person who had more regard to the dictates of Honour and Justice than to take the undue advantage you have done of the confidence and Trust I reposed in you.
But I find I was mistaken, and after being at the great Trouble and Expence of making a design paying for paper, printing &c, find myself in the most ungenerous Manner deprived, not only of any proposed Advantage, but even of the expence I have been at, as truly as if you had plundered me on the highway.
If you are insensible of the Dishonour you have brought on yourself by this Act, the World will not be so. However, I leave you to reflect upon and consider of one of the most dishonorable Actions you could well be guilty of.
H. Pelham.
P S. I send by the Bearer the prints I borrowed of you. My Mother desired you would send the hinges and part of the press, that you had from her.

I suppose by our time in the 21st century there is no matter which one was the most famous, for the point was to utilize propaganda as best as could be done in that time, and the outcome worked exactly as was hoped for, even though both prints showed an incorrect version of what actually happened. 

And though it was not quite clear at the time, the Boston Massacre was a signal event leading to the Revolutionary War. It led directly to the Royal Governor evacuating the occupying army from the town of Boston. It would soon bring the revolution to armed rebellion throughout the colonies.
The Old State House - -
Do you see that circle right in front there? That's the spot
where the bloody massacre took place. And the State House
can be clearly seen in both Pelham and Revere's
engraving of the event. 

Old State House
And finally...
The things one can find on-line...
My favorite reason for wearing this shirt is because I am, nearly every time, asked why are there coffins on my shirt and what does the date signify.
It is a great American history teaching opportunity.
Yes, I do wear it every March 5th.
I so enjoy our great American history and reading about the beginnings of our nation. No, it's not all happy and Disney and all that, but it is our past, and to learn what made us such a great nation - and I believe we are a great nation, through our good and bad, through trials and tribulation of so many of the past citizens - helps me to appreciate even more so of my life today. My simple life in a tiny wood-frame bungalow in a small suburban city is all due to those from the past.
And I certainly appreciate it!
Until next time, see you in time.

To learn more about America's fight for liberty, please click With Liberty and Justice for All
To learn about the historical details of Paul Revere's famous ride, please click Listen My Children and You Shall Hear...
To learn about how the citizens of Salem stood up to the British army before the Revolutionary War actually begun, click Preventing Tyranny: Patriotism at Salem 1775
To understand why we celebrate Independence Day on July 4th please click Declaring Independence: The Spirits of '76
And to have a better understanding of everyday life during the time of the Revolutionary War for the average citizens of the colonies (including loads of pictures!), please click In the Good Old Colony Days: What Life Was Like in America in the Period That Produced the Declaration of Independence
To read my reviews of quality movies depicting early American history, please click Movies in Time: Early American History From the Movies - A Listing of Ken's Favorites

Information for today's posting came from numerous sources, including
Todd Andrlik's magnificent book, Reporting the Revolutionary War
as well as the following books:
Paul Revere and the World He Lived In by Esther Forbes
Legend and Lies - The Patriots by Bill O'Reilly
Founding Fathers by K.M. Kostyal
Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer
And from HERE, HERE, and HERE (web sites)
Some of the Christopher Seider information came directly from THIS site
The modern picture of the State House came from HERE
The modern pictures of the shooting scenes came from the DVD of Legends & Lies, The Patriots

~   ~   ~