Independence Day is just around the corner. The country celebrates with flags and fireworks, but often kids and even some adults forget about how we won our independence.
Why not plan a trip to celebrate this rich slice of history by visiting Minute Man National Historic Park.
Many people have heard of the minutemen but don’t really know who they were or what they did. This park is the ideal place to learn about the minutemen and offers a chance for the entire family to find things to do and see that make history come to life.
Lexington Concord’s North Bridge
Visit Lexington’s Concord’s North bridge where British regulars clashed with colonial militia and minutemen on April 19, 1975. The fighting that began that day blossomed into the war for independence that lasted for over eight years.
Who Were the Minutemen?
A visit to the Minute Man National Historic Park is the perfect way to learn about who the minutemen were and how they came into existence.
Here you’ll learn about how all the able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required by colonial law to keep a “serviceable firearm” and to serve as a part-time citizen army to defend the colony from enemies like Indians and the French.
This colonial militia sometimes even fought alongside the very British soldiers who would become their enemies as mounting tension between the American colonies and Great Britain changed that relationship.
Towns were called to set aside a portion of their militia to form special companies called minutemen. These men were volunteers who trained more frequently than the regular militia and they were paid about a shilling for each time they drilled.
The minutemen were expected to have their arms and equipment with them at all times, and they were to be ready to march at a minute’s warning. Thus they were called “minute men.”
Muster With the Militia
Guests have the opportunity to experience what it was like to train for that battle in 1775. Family members of all ages will have the opportunity to participate in a militia drill using wooden muskets and will be challenged to master real battle formations used back in 1775.
This drill is free and takes place at Hartwell Tavern at 10:30 each day during the week. This drill takes 20 minutes and is limited to 30 participants. On Saturday and Sunday, guests have the opportunity to muster at 10:30 or 1:30.
Whether you visit to celebrate Independence Day, or any time between Memorial Day weekend and the end of October, you can take advantage of daily Ranger programs including Guided Tours. It’s a great way for kids and their families to learn history because it makes it real.
Photo credits: nps.gov