Happy Evacuation Day!

March 17th may mean Saint Patrick’s Day to most of you. Here in Boston it’s Evacuation Day.

The holiday commemorates the evacuation of British forces from the city of Boston following the Siege of Boston, early in the American Revolutionary War. (It’s just a coincidence that it coincides with Saint Patrick’s Day.)

George Washington fortified Dorchester Heights in early March 1776 with cannons. Major General Henry Knox had captured the cannons from Fort Ticonderoga. The garrison and navy under the command of British General William Howe were threatened by these cannon positions. Howe had to decide between attack and retreat. Howe chose to retreat and withdrew from Boston and sailed off to Nova Scotia on March 17.

George Washington had his first victory of the Revolutionary war.

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2 Responses to Happy Evacuation Day!

  1. David Hobbie March 17, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Doug, while I certainly appreciate any reflection on historical events, I also seriously doubt this official holiday (yes, courts are closed in Boston today) would have survived without the St. Patrick’s day “coincidence.”

    • Doug Cornelius March 17, 2010 at 11:08 am #

      I suppose Boston had a “few” Irish politicians at the turn of the century when Evacuation Day was made an official holiday.

      Do keep in mind that Evacuation Day was made an official holiday in 1901. Ireland did not make St. Patrick’s Day an official holiday until 1903.

      But looking out my office window at the Black Rose, the patrons are clearly more focused on celebrating Irish spirit than the rout of the British.