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Patriots Day in Massachusetts, then and now

We take a look back to 1775 and see what’s in store for the 2015 holiday.

Jorge Salcedo/Shutterstock/Jorge Salcedo

April 19, 1775 — The date the American Revolution started, with battles in Lexington and Concord — now celebrated as Patriots Day

5 a.m. that day — British troops skirmish with militiamen in Lexington; eight militiamen are killed, and the British march on to Concord.

7-8 a.m. that day — The British, 850 strong, arrive at Concord. They are watched and then engaged by 400 militiamen, who inflict the first British fatalities of the war. The militia follow and harass the British as they retreat to Charlestown.

Battle day casualties:

273 — British

94 — Militia

1894 — The year Patriots Day was declared an official holiday in the Commonwealth


1969 — The year the holiday was moved from April 19 to the third Monday in April (celebrated April 20 this year)

“The regulars are coming out!” — What Paul Revere really said on his midnight ride of April 18-19

60+ — Number of events planned for April throughout Greater Boston to commemorate the day; find a partial list at patriotsday.com

A few of Monday’s events:

5:30 a.m. — Reenactment of the first skirmish, on Lexington Green

6-10 a.m. — Pancake breakfasts at three churches in Lexington

8 a.m.-2 p.m. — Tours of other historic Lexington sites, including Buckman Tavern, Hancock-Clarke House, and Munroe Tavern

8:45 a.m. — Commemoration of the North Bridge fight in Concord, site of “the shot heard round the world”

9 a.m. — The 2.5-mile Patriots Day Parade, Concord Center

Noon — US Army “Old Guard” performance on Lexington Green

1 p.m. — Reenactment of Paul Revere’s horseback arrival at Lexington Green

2 p.m. — Parade, starts in East Lexington

125 — Approximate number of militiamen and British regulars reenacting the battle on Lexington Green on Monday; it should break down as 40 militia and 85 British


Sources: Bill Poole; lexingtonhistory.org; lexingtonma.gov; concordma.gov; paulreverehouse.org; nps.gov; PBS