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By Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis

Books and candles on the table

Has it been awhile since your high school history classes? Have you been watching too many historically inaccurate movies or TV shows? Or maybe you’re just looking for some old-fashioned intellectual stimulation? Then look no further than Old North’s Mini Courses! Each month we will offer a new mini-course on a variety of topics for all the couch-based learners out there. What’s not required: registration, a specific digital platform, hours of your time, quizzes, or grades. What is required: a love of reading, an interest in or curiosity about historical topics, and an open mind.

If you’re up for the challenge, join us for our first mini course, a brief foray into revolutionary history — in honor of the 245th anniversary of the lantern signals on April 18 this year AND in honor of Patriots Day, a cherished holiday in New England rarely recognized outside of the region.

Buckle up for your crash course on the American Revolution.

1. Refresh your memory of the Revolutionary War’s key events through this excellent timeline from our partner, the National Park Service.

2. Read our account of the events of April 18, 1775 and the story of the signal lanterns BONUS: Watch Episode 1 of our video series, “99% Sure” for a deeper dive into WHO held the lanterns in the steeple on the night of April 18, 1775.

3. Gain a greater understanding of the socioeconomic structure in Boston leading up to and after the Revolutionary War.

4. Consider the implications of the occupation of Boston and how it threatened Bostonians’ lives in a variety of ways. 

5. Remember the role tea played in colonial New England and discover an unknown off-shoot of the Boston Tea Party

6. Learn about the “First Lady of the American Revolution” and how she recorded the events of the day. 

7. Participate in a virtual celebration of Patriots Day 2020 and the reenactment of the Battle at Lexington with our friends at the Lexington Historical Society. 

8. Demonstrate your own courage in the face of adversity by participating in our #FindYourLantern activity

Battle of Lexington Detail

After you’ve had time to process these resources, think about how your perspective has changed. Write in the comment section below, answering any of the following questions: 

  • What was your favorite article and why? 
  • What did you learn that surprised you?
  • Why might our interpretation and understanding of the Revolution change over time?