Boston Massacre Day

Boston Massacre Day

March 5
Once observed in New Jersey as Crispus Attucks Day, March 5 marks the anniversary of the 1770 street fight between a group of colonial American protesters and a squad of British troops quartered in Boston—an event that reflected the unpopularity of the British regime in colonial America and set the stage for the American Revolution. A British sentry was pelted with stones and snowballs by a mob of about 50 people. He called for help, and Captain Thomas Preston sent several soldiers. The soldiers fired and five of the protesters were killed. One of them was Crispus Attucks, a runaway slave who'd spent 20 years as a whaleman. It was Attucks who led the crowd from Dock Square to King Street (now State Street), where the confrontation occurred, and who later became known as the first martyr of the American Revolution.
The name "Boston Massacre" was invented by the colonists and used as propaganda to force the removal of the British troops.
In Massachusetts, the anniversary of the Boston Massacre is observed annually with patriotic songs and speeches recalling Attucks's sacrifice. On the 200th anniversary of the massacre in 1970, and again five years later on the 200th anniversary of the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the Charlestown Militia Company staged a reenactment of the event.
CONTACTS:
Boston National Historical Park
Charlestown Navy Yard
Boston, MA 02129
617-242-5642; fax: 617-242-6006
www.nps.gov
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20540
202-707-5000; fax: 202-707-2076
www.loc.gov
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 185
AnnivHol-2000, p. 39
OxYear-1999, p. 108
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