Patriots’ Day is a state holiday in Maine and Massachusetts and is held on the third Monday of April each year. Schools and state-based offices are closed, but federal offices are still open.
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Patriots’ Day commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775. The stirrings of these battles stemmed from a need for independence, and also from an event in 1773 known as the Boston Tea Party where colonists revolted against the high tax on tea levied by the British Government. Colonists, many apparently in Mohawk disguise, crept aboard three trade ships in Boston Harbor and threw 342 tea chests into the water.
It was believed that a man named Samuel Adams had instigated this crime. By 1775, tensions were high concerning independence from British rule, and the tea incident – a social and economic crime – and the British red coats approached Lexington in an attempt to arrest Adams and a man named John Hancock who was also working towards ending British rule in the colonies.
Paul Revere, a hero in the revolution, alerted the colonists and this helped Adams and Hancock avoid capture. The British attacked Lexington first and forced the colonist militia back then marched to Concord searching for supply posts. The patriots had been warned well in advance and had moved their supplies to safe locations.
At North Bridge near Concord, the British troops that numbered around 100, were defeated by the militia of 400 men who hid in the hills around the bridge. The battle at Concord was of great significance because it marked the start of the American War of Independence between the British army and the thirteen states that were a part of the British colony.
This state holiday should not be confused with Patriot Day, which is held on 11 September each year to commemorate the 2001 terrorist attack known by many as ‘911’.