Patriot’s Day is a state holiday in Massachusetts and Maine that honors the battles of Lexington and Concord during the American Revolution. However, states all over the country celebrate the day on the third Monday in April.
These two states close schools and some offices for the day. To celebrate the holiday, observers take part in reenactments, races, concerts, educational events, and, in Boston, the ringing of the bell that warned American troops of the battle. It is sometimes called “Marathon Monday” since the Boston Marathon takes place on Patriot’s Day. Since 1959, the Boston Red Sox have played on Patriot’s Day at Fenway Park. The holiday has been observed since 1969.
The Battles of Lexington and Concord
These battles were the first military conflicts of the Revolutionary War. On April 19, 1775, the fighting broke out in areas around Boston. With the battle of Concord, the patriots held the advantage of being warned of the conflict beforehand, preventing the British Army from taking military supplies there.
At the battle of Concord, Royal forces outnumbered the patriots 700 to 250. The Patriots retreated until reinforcements came. American forces then stationed themselves along the route to Barrett’s Farm, where the Royals believed supplies were stored. However, the supplies had been moved. The Royalists searched other buildings in the area, but did not end up finding any supplies. A conflict occurred at North Bridge, during which there were a few casualties, resulted in the British retreat. Even the colonists were surprised at their victory, since the militia was so outnumbered.
The battle of Lexington is often embellished when reenactments, as it was technically just a skirmish. The two forces met on Lexington’s road out to Boston. The first shot of the war was fired here from an unknown source, and most witnesses believe it came from the two force’s surroundings rather than the forces themselves. Eight Patriots and one British soldier died, but as the British objective was to capture rebels and supplies, the battle was technically won by the colonists after the British withdrew with neither.
One of the Patriots typically honored during Patriot’s Day events is Paul Revere. Revere’s famous midnight ride warned the Lexington and Concord militias of the incoming British forces and their objective to take supplies, which were moved to a safe location.