Patriot’s Day

April 19, 1775, was the demarcation point between mere “troubles in the colonies” and full-fledged revolution. April 18th was Paul Revere’s famous ride to warn that the British were on the March. The militiamen gathered from their homes and, after a setback at Lexington, turned the British round from Concorde.

“Patriot’s Day” is not one of our more famous holidays—I don’t think anyone outside of Massachusetts and Maine celebrate it at all. But it was the point at which the colonial militia showed their bravery; when the shots were fired, the people of the colonies must have been doing so solely out of principle. Who could have thought they would successfully take on the British Empire?

What Else Happened?

A couple of other things happened on April 19th related to freedom.

1529In Germany, Lutheran leaders in fourteen cities lodged a “protest” demanding freedom of conscience and the right of minorities. The German Lutheran Reformers became known as “Protestants.”
1721Birthday of Roger Sherman, signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
1776British march on Lexington to remove armories from colonial control.
1861Lincoln orders blockade of Confederate ports, beginning the Union side of the War Between the States.
1939Connecticut finally approves the Bill of Rights.
1943Warsaw Uprising: A handful of Jews attack the Nazi occupation force in the Warsaw ghetto: “a ragtag, half-starved group of Jews took 10 handguns and made asses out of the Nazis” (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership)
1993Waco: The “bad boys” of federal paramilitary troops serve a search warrant with 100 armed agents; the BATF had previously refused an invitation to search peacefully. The Branch Davidians turn out to have fewer arms per capita than the average Texan home. The BATF claimed “we were outgunned,” despite having brought helicopter gunships, armored vehicles and fully automatic weapons to the siege. The siege ends in tragedy as the Davidians’ rickety home, lit by kerosene lantern with bales of hay at the walls to stop incoming bullets burns to the ground after tanks start punching holes in the walls.
1995Murrah Building in Oklahoma bombed, purportedly in retaliation for the Waco massacre. 136 people killed; no ATF agents were on site, however.