Despite wind and rain, hundreds of school children attended the Friends of the Public Garden’s 3rd annual Making History Day celebrating 7500 years of history on the Boston Common. Familiar sounds of laughter and shouting, interrupted only by the occasional “MOO”, made it clear that in spite of the weather enthusiasm for the Boston Common’s rich history is as strong as ever.
Near the little league field children joined several Wampanoag Singers and Dancers in a circle dance while nearby other youngsters played colonial games and made traditional crafts with Historic New England. Meanwhile, on the parade ground, onlookers munched on apples provided by Whole Foods while the 54th Massachusetts Regiment described a soldier’s life during the Civil War era. Unfortunately the weather prevented the Ancient and Honorable Artillery from firing their cannons, but they still enjoyed sharing their stories with the kids. It’s a wonderful end of the year field trip that really allows students learn through interaction. A few groups focused on historical forms of dancing including The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers who involved students in historic ballroom styles of dance and the New England Contra Dancers who emphasized folk dancing.
Perhaps the most exciting attraction lay beyond the parade grounds, closer to the State House, where farm animals and the young students petting them could be seen sharing similar expressions of bewilderment. By a little after ten o’ clock a large group had formed around Manfred the cow. With a single powerful “MOO” Manfred dispersed the group into a scattering of shrieking youths, only to form again and repeat the process several times throughout the day.