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Minute Man National Historical Park

Minute Man National Park
On April 18, 1775, the British governor sent soldiers to capture Sam Adams and John Hancock in Lexington and to confiscate guns and ammunition stored up by the colonists in Concord. Paul Revere rode out that night, warning Adams and Hancock, and calling the militias to arms. In the early morning of April 19, on Lexington Common shots were fired and colonists died. The British soldiers marched to Concord, where Minute Men took a stand at the North Bridge. Hidden behind stone walls and trees, the militiamen continued to shoot at the British, who retreated back to Boston in panic. The Battles of Lexington and Concord were first step in the American Revolution.
Tip: The Minute Man National Historical Park stretches between Lexington and Concord, along the route between the North Bridge in Concord and Battle Green in Lexington. You’ll need a car to visit various points within the park, or take the Liberty Ride trolley.
    Battle Road Visitor’s Center – Start your explorations at the visitor’s center with a 30 minute video presentation about the battles. What’s cool about the presentation is there’s a big map above the screen that lights up, showing all the points in the battles.
Battle Road Trail
  Battle Road Trail – Take a stroll down the five mile Battle Road Trail that extends from Meriam’s Corner to Fiske Hill. The wide trail is lined with farms and fields, and buildings from the American Revolution, so you can really step back in time. Along this trail, the militiamen hid behind the stone walls, boulders and trees, and took potshots as the British as they retreated. Also on the trail is the spot where Paul Revere was captured (Samuel Prescott escaped and warned the militia of Concord). This area is a great spot to picnic (but you’ll have to carry out all your trash). Trail is okay for strollers.
Hartwell Tavern
    Hartwell Tavern – Check out the Hartwell Tavern, restored to 1775. Out front, watch a lady in period clothing carding wool, or kids can try their hands at rolling wooden hoops, toys typical at the time of the American Revolution. At 11am , 2pm and 4pm, there are musket firing demonstrations.
North Bridge
  North Bridge (Concord) – Walk over the North Bridge to the west side. Here a large number of Minute Men confronted the British, who lined up on the east side of the bridge. The British fired first, with no effect, then Major Buttrick shouted to the Minute Men “Fire, fellow soldiers, for God’s sake, fire!” Three British soldiers were killed (the graves of two of them are marked at the stone wall near the bridge on the east side), and the British withdrew, leaving the bridge to the Minute Men. The bridge you’ll see isn’t original – it’s an accurate re-construction of the 1775 wooden bridge.
      Minute Man Statue – The statute, dedicated in 1837, depicts a Minute Man farmer, with a plow at his feet and a musket in his hand. At the base of the statue are the famous lines from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Here once the embattled farmers stood/ And fired the shot heard round the world.”
      North Bridge Visitor Center – Stop in to learn more about the battle at the North Bridge, and check out period weaponry and uniforms.
      There’s lots of history here, but kids will also enjoy running around the twisty paths and hiding spots around the visitor center and wandering along the Concord River.
Battle Green
  Battle Green (Lexington) – Battle Green is a big grassy area to run around. This is where the militiamen (including a 19 year old drummer) assembled and faced the British (three colonists died). Check out the stone engraved with words “ Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!”
      Behind the Minute Man statue is the Buckman Tavern, where militiamen waited through the night for the British to arrive. Take a guided tour of the tavern (tours daily), which has, among other things, the old front door with a bullet hole from a British musket.
      Close by in the Lexington Visitor Center, there’s a diorama, making is easy for kids to visualize the Battle of Lexington.
    Liberty Ride Trolley – Ride a trolley, hopping on and hopping off the bus at sites in Lexington, Concord and Minute Man Historical Park. Ticket is good for 24 hours and you can pay on the trolley. Trolley runs May - September.
      Tip: On Patriots’ Day (April 19), there's an annual recreation of the battle of Lexington on the Battle Green in Lexington, with lots of British “lobsterbacks” and Minute Men, and plenty of shooting. This is a popular event, so you need to get there at dawn. If you can't get up that early, there are rehearsals and other battles around that weekend.
kids books american revolution lexington concord
Let It Begin Here childrens books american revolution lexington concord  
Let It Begin Here!
Dennis Brindell Fradin, Larry Day

April 18, 1775, Paul Revere rides out to warn the British are on the march and call the militia to arms. In the early morning hours of April 19, on Lexington Green, 70 militiamen face the British in the first battle of the Revolutionary War. Excellent overview of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. (Picture book)


Mr. Revere and I
Robert Lawson

Humorous adventures of Paul Revere, narrated by his horse, “Sherry.” Once owned by a British lieutenant, Sherry and Revere ride hither and yon, secretly delivering messages to patriots. (Chapter book)


kids books american revolution lexington concord Mr. Revere and I
childrens books poem american revolution lexington concord The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere  
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christopher Bing

In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed
And the midnight message of Paul Revere

Action-adventure ride of Paul Revere to warn the militiamen in every Middlesex village and farm, in this classic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (Picture book)


More children's books about the Freedom Trail.
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