Today we celebrate Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts. What is it? Held on the third Monday of April, it is a state holiday commemorating the start of the American Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775 at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Famously recounted in the poems the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Longfellow and The Concord Hymn (better known as the “shot heard round the world” poem) by Emerson, there are many events commemorating and reenacting the historical events.
Also, the Boston Marathon, first held on Patriots’ Day in 1896, is run on this day, and the Boston Red Sox play a morning game at Fenway Park, timed so the end of the game coincides with the Marathon runners passing through Kenmore Square (it used to be timed to see the leaders in the race pass by, but alas, baseball games have gotten longer, runners have gotten faster, and the start time of the Marathon has moved because it is now so crowded).
The long, interesting, somber, and sometimes raucous history of Patriots’ Day is chronicled here. And we should mention that the Patriots’ Day holiday is also celebrated in Maine—because Maine was once part of Massachusetts (it became a separate state in 1820).
So Happy Patriots’ Day! May we all do our part every day to be true patriots!