Historic Boston

The one thing you notice about New England towns and place names is that they are somehow very familiar. Many of the places are named from the original towns, villages and hamlets and counties from old England, some from France and others left over from the Native American names. The major city of Boston is in fact, originally a small town in Lincolnshire, England.

As Oliver Wendle-Holmes wrote, Boston USA is now the hub of the universe. Boston is the place where the pioneer spirit of the Pilgrim settlers has been challenged again and again. New York may be more dynamic, LA more quirky and San Francisco more beautiful, but no city has as big a past as it does a present and as much tradition as innovation. Some call it the intellectual cradle of America and there’s only one way to keep up with Boston and that’s to hit the ground running. 

Boston’s later history saw huge waves of immigration. The Irish became prominent in politics, culminating in their favourite son, JFK, becoming president, but another nationality to flood Boston during these times was the Italians. Today the North End as it is known, is the Italian district, and it oozes character.

Education is a way of life in New England. There are over 60 colleges and universities in the Boston area and 250,000 people come here to study every year.Four of its universities, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Brown are all part of the prestigious Ivy League . There are some serious college rivalries and nothing stirs it up like a football game. College football in America is huge. The games are broadcast live on TV and as many as 30,000 people come to support their local college team. 

Harvard in Cambridge, a Boston suburb , is probably the most famous University. It’s been the set for many films and has educated many of America’s most powerful people. Like ‘Oxbridge’ in England, if you can get in here, you’re going to be set for life, which is a good thing because it costs a fortune to go here. Harvard has no shortage of superstitions and folklore. Legend has it that if you rub the big toe of the statue of college founder John Harvard you’ll have years of good luck. It’s also known as the statue with 3 lies, because there are 3 problems with it- one,  it’s not actually John Harvard, it’s a student-two he was the benefactor and not the founder, and – three -the university was founded in 1636, not 1638 as the plaque claims.

As far as the nightlife in Boston goes, you have a lot to choose from but you cannot go wrong if you hit an Irish pub. The Irish took such a firm hold of the city, that it’s now the most Irish city in America. Remember that if hit the barrel you sadly need to be over 21 in the USA and will need proof of age. 

The Freedom Trail, amazing parks and gardens, art and science museums and nearby historic towns of Plymouth, Gloucester and Salem make Boston a quaint and beautiful city to visit. 


Boston Massacre

The story of the city of Boston is a tale full of attitude and rebellion. In front of the Royal State House was the scene of a bloody massacre when colonialist soldiers opened fire on innocent people, which heralded the start of the American Revolution against British rule. It was the famous massacre that really ignited the people toward revolt and encouraged them to get rid of English rule forever.

By 1773 the tensions here had grown considerably, the English had lifted all of the taxes except for one on tea, which completely outraged the colonialists who decided that they were not going to unload the cargo. At night they secretly dressed up as local Indians, boarded the boat and dumped all of the tea overboard. This became known as the famous Boston Tea Party

The English became incensed and they decided to put an end to this kind of behaviour, but what they didn’t bargain for, was war. April 19th, 1775 was the day the first shot of the revolutionary war was fired. Paul Revere rode from Boston to Lexington, screaming ‘the regulars are coming, the regulars are coming’. This allowed the men some time to assemble before they were met by 700 British soldiers. At some point a shot rang out, nobody knows who or why, but this became known as the shot heard round the world. 

The war lasted for several years before Boston and the colonies gained full independence. The Fourth of  July is know as Independence Day and is celebrated as a public holiday by Americans  throughout the world. On this date in 1776, a group of brave American colonists took a historic step when the Second Continental Congress voted to adopt Thomas Jefferson’s revolutionary document, the Declaration of Independence.