More than 1,000 Boston school students attended the 5th Annual Making History on the Common event sponsored by the Friends of the Public Garden. On Monday, June 2, America’s oldest public park served as an outdoor classroom with a variety of true-to-life learning stations that showcased the hundreds of years of historic events and activities that took place on and around Boston Common.
Students were entertained by New England Contra Dancers and invited to participate in this blend of dance and music that came with Colonials from England, Ireland, Scotland and France. Many participants seemed to be on their best behavior that day; perhaps the sight of the colonial punishments station hosted by the Freedom Trail Foundation was all the encouragement needed? This interactive display demonstrated the use of wooden pillories, a hinged wooden framework used for punishments in Massachusetts in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Apples available for students to snack on, donated by Whole Foods Market commemorated the orchard believed to have been planted on Beacon Hill by William Blackstone in 1623. A learning station new to this year’s event on 20th Century Protests evoked passionate pleas for “no more homework” as students were asked to protest on an issue relevant to their lives
“It was simply inspirational to see kids actively connecting to the rich history of our country while learning in one of America’s most historic parks, the very place where so much history was made,” said Elizabeth Vizza, Executive Director of the Friends of the Public Garden. “Making History on the Common works because it’s simple yet profound.”
Many organizations came together to make this Friends event happen including, The Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiment, The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers, Historic New England, the City of Boston Archeology, The Ancient Fishweir Project and Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers, Boston Public Library and Leventhal Map Center.
Thank you to the Motor Mart Garage its generosity as the lead sponsor for this event.