April 19, 1775, saw the gathering of thousands of Massachusetts militia to repel the march of British soldiers into the interior of Massachusetts in search of a cache of arms and munition. For generations since thousands of Americans have traditionally gathered along this same route to commemorate the events of the day and the sacrifice of those brave men and women who took part.
The Covid-19 pandemic prevents such gatherings for the second time in two years, but a new coalition, the April 19th History Coalition, has formed to engage Americans for the purpose of commemorating the events of that day.
The April 19th History Coalition
The April 19th History Coalition is made up of representatives from Minute Man National Historical Park, Arlington Historical Society, Concord Museum, Concord Celebrations Committee, Lexington Historical Society, Lexington Celebrations Committee, Lincoln Historical Society, Minute Man Media Network, Friends of Minute Man National Historic Park, Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area, and Revolution 250.
Using these partnerships, the April 19th History Coalition seeks to tell the story of the events of April 18 & 19 when 700 soldiers of the British Army marched to Lexington & Concord in search of hidden arms and ammunition and were forcibly opposed by members of the Massachusetts militia and driven back to Boston.
The coalition will use innovative digital programming to connect the people of today with the events of April 18th & 19th, 1775, as well as with the lives of the people who were participants and witnesses to the events along, what would become known as “Battle Road.”
Among the planned programs for 2021 are
- Our Tangible Past: Our Tangible Past, which will feature short video introductions to the artifacts and material culture held by April 19th History Coalition partner institutions that help us to the events of those days.
- The Revolution in Real Time: The Revolution in Real Time will use the hashtag #RevolutioninRealTime on Social Media to help showcase how the events of those days played out in chronological time.
- Voices of 1775: Voices of 1775 will engage volunteers, reenactors, National Park Service staff, and museum staff to portray the men and women who were witnesses to this moment that changed the world.
- The Patriot Vigil: Join us virtually for the Patriot Vigil. This moving candlelight tribute was filmed at the North Bridge battlefield by Minute Man National Historical Park and the April 19th History Coalition and is dedicated to those who lost their lives on April 19, 1775. The ceremony was pre-recorded, but we invite you to participate virtually on April 18th by placing a candle or candle lantern in your window, photograph it and post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #PatriotVigil.
Follow all the action on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtags #VirtualPatriotsDay and #RevolutioninRealTime.
A full schedule of the programs can be found at www.Revolution250.org