Evacuation Day is observed every year on March 17. It is a public holiday in Suffolk County, including Boston, Massachusetts, in the U.S. It celebrates the day when the British troops evacuated Boston during the American Revolutionary War. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County, where various activities are held each year to commemorate the event. Evacuation Day is a day off for most people, with schools and most businesses closing for the day. The Dorchester Heights Monument built from white marble commemorates the events related to Evacuation Day.
History of Evacuation Day in Massachusetts
Evacuation Day commemorates the first major American military victory in the American Revolutionary War. On this day in 1776, the British troops were forced to leave Boston after General George Washington (the first U.S. president) successfully fortified Dorchester Heights.
General William Howe of the British Army found heavy guns aimed at his soldiers and the British fleet. And rather than repeating the casualties of the Battle of Bunker Hill, the British troops left in haste on March 17, never to return. The American Continental Army’s sacrifices and efforts played a big role in establishing the U.S. Evacuation Day was proclaimed as a holiday in 1901, and Dorchester Heights in South Boston is remembered as the place where the rebel troops placed heavy artillery to attack the British warships. The area was strategically important because of its elevation and view of Boston and its harbor. This is why Evacuation Day is celebrated in Boston too.
Evacuation Day and St Patrick’s Day are both celebrated on March 17, which is perfect as many residents in Suffolk County are Irish descendants! Today, we also acknowledge the Irish Catholics for helping General George Washington defeat the British soldiers on March 17, 1776. Evacuation Day is celebrated in Massachusetts with re-enactments, essay contests, and visits to historically significant sites.
Evacuation Day in Massachusetts timeline
A band of Bostonians boards British ships and dumps 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor.
The war starts due to growing tensions between American colonies and the colonial government.
On July 2, Congress votes and declares independence, and two days later, they adopt the Declaration of Independence.
The Revolutionary War finally ends, and the Treaty of Paris makes America’s independence official.
Evacuation Day in Massachusetts FAQs
Is Evacuation Day a holiday in Massachusetts?
Evacuation Day is a public holiday in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. The day is celebrated on March 17, and the following cities partake: Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop. The public schools in Somerville, Massachusetts also recognize the holiday.
Why is March 17 celebrated in the city of Boston every year as Evacuation Day?
The city first began celebrating St Patrick’s Day in 1876, but it wasn’t until 1901 that Evacuation Day was dedicated as a holiday. Since then, March 17 has been an official public holiday for the Boston area to celebrate America’s first victory in the Revolutionary War.
Where did the British go to evacuate Boston?
On March 17, 1776, British forces were forced to evacuate Boston by ship. They sailed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, seeking safety.
How to Observe Evacuation Day in Massachusetts
Attend a celebration
If you are in Suffolk County or Boston, celebrate the day by attending a celebration event. You could attend a re-enactment or a parade detailing the evacuation.
Hoist the national flag
You can also hoist the national flag at your house or workplace. Distribute flag brooches and pins among friends and colleagues.
Watch a patriotic movie
Celebrate Evacuation Day by watching a patriotic movie or documentary on the American struggle for freedom. You will find plenty online.
5 Fun Facts About Massachusetts That Will Blow Your Mind
The first post office in America
The first post office opened in Boston in 1639.
The first telephone call
Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call in Boston.
The state has a low divorce rate
Massachusetts has one of the lowest divorce rates among the American states.
The first subway in America
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority subway was built in Boston in 1897.
It has an unusually named lake
There is a lake in Massachusetts named ‘Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.’
Why Evacuation Day in Massachusetts is Important
It’s a landmark event in America
Evacuation Day played a crucial role in the American struggle for independence. Evacuation Day in Massachusetts honors the brave martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the nation.
It’s a day for American pride
Evacuation Day in Massachusetts is also a day of American pride. The holiday reminds us to be proud of our achievements and democratic values.
It’s an important event in American history
If you are enthusiastic about history, use this day to learn more about American history’s important events, including Evacuation Day in Massachusetts. Just imagine all the new things you could learn!
Evacuation Day in Massachusetts dates