When is Patriots' Day?

Patriots' Day is a state holiday in Maine and Massachusetts on the third Monday in April.

It is a public school observance day in Wisconsin and its celebration is also encouraged in Florida, though it is not given any holiday status.

Sometimes known as Lexington Day or Battles of Lexington and Concord Day, Patriots' Day commemorates the opening battles of the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord in 1775.

History and meaning of Patriots' Day

The battles of Lexington and Concord that took place in Massachusetts on 19 April 1775, marked the first conflicts of the American Revolution which ultimately led to America's independence from Great Britain.

On the night of 18 April 1775, a large unit of British soldiers marched from Boston to Concord, intent on destroying a cache of weapons that that had been collected by the American colonists. Famously, Paul Revere and other riders alerted the colonial Minutemen of the plan, who then moved to intercept the British.

Nobody can say for definite who fired those first shots on Lexington green, but the battle was the first organised resistance by the American forces. Buoyed by their superior numbers, the British then moved on from Lexington to Concord, where they were surprised by a counterattack from the colonists, forcing the Redcoats to retreat to Boston.

The fighting on that day spurred on the colonists who now knew they could take on the military might of the British.

The American War for Independence raged on until 1783, when the victorious colonies formally won their independence from Great Britain.

Did you know?

This holiday is officially Patriots' Day in Massachusetts and Wisconsin and Patriot's Day in Maine.

How is Patriots' Day observed?

Originally this holiday was always celebrated on 19 April, marking the exact date of the battles. In 1969 it was moved to the third Monday in April.

As it is a state holiday, courts and the registry of motor vehicles will be closed. Public schools will be closed as part of spring break week.

The Boston Marathon, one of the world's most famous street marathons takes place on Patriots' Day. The Boston Red Sox baseball team are also scheduled to play a home game on Patriots' Day.

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