It’s almost here, Saint Patty’s Day in Boston! Rest assured that there will be hundreds of people swarming the streets, dressed in outrageous green outfits and enjoying one of Boston’s most celebrated holidays. After all, rumor has it that the first formal St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the New World was held in Boston in 1737. But the luck of the Irish isn’t the only thing Bostonians have to celebrate on March 17th. It also marks Evacuation Day, a holiday honoring George Washington’s first victory in the American Revolution.
In early March of 1776 Continental troops managed to move a heavy cannon to the top of Dorchester Heights. When the British realized what had happened they knew they could no longer hold the city and were forced to leave. In 1901, on the 125th anniversary of that historic day, the Mayor of Boston declared a new city holiday, marking March 17th as Evacuation Day.
The fact that St. Patrick’s day also falls on the 17th was not overlooked, and in Boston the two holidays have been observed together ever since.
So while you’re putting on your green this weekend, stop to reflect on what Evacuation Day means to you, and take a moment to celebrate this day in history!