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The History of Patriots' Day

The History of Patriots' Day

In Massachusetts, the third Monday in April means two things: Marathon Monday and Patriots’ Day. The first event focuses on the Boston Marathon while the second focuses on a distinct day in history that’s been celebrated for over 120 years. And while you need to live in Boston to run the famed marathon, you can celebrate Patriots’ Day anywhere!

Patriots’ Day tends to get lost in the shuffle of national holidays. It’s not quite as big as the Fourth of July, Memorial Day or Veterans’ Day—yet, it’s bigger and more widely celebrated than Flag Day or Presidents’ Day. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand the history behind this patriotic holiday and why it’s worth celebrating each and every year.  

So, what is Patriots’ Day and why does this holiday hold a significant place in history? Here’s what every citizen should know.

What is Patriots’ Day?

Patriots’ Day is held on the third Monday in April every year. The origin of Patriots’ Day goes back to April 19, 1775, when the Battles of Lexington and Concord started. These battles of the American Revolution were the first steps the colonists took to gain independence from Great Britain. The actions of the colonists showed courage and bravery, and is what led to the creation of the United States of America. This courageous nature is what’s celebrated on Patriots’ Day.

The History of Patriots’ Day

In 1894, Governor Frederic T. Greenhalge of Massachusetts wanted to replace Fast Day, a day of fasting and prayer that was not widely celebrated, with another holiday and chose Patriots’ Day as its replacement. This holiday was set for April 19 on the calendar and commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, as well as the Baltimore riot of 1861, which was the first bloodshed event of the American Civil War.

In 1897, the Boston Marathon became part of the Patriots’ Day celebrations. In 1969, Patriots’ Day was changed to the third Monday in April and the celebrations could be enjoyed on a three-day weekend.

The reason so many people are unaware of Patriots’ Day is because it’s not technically a federal holiday—although it has received federal recognition in the past. It’s an event that’s left up to each state to treat accordingly. As such, Patriots’ Day is officially celebrated in Massachusetts, Maine and Wisconsin.

How is Patriots’ Day Celebrated?

Patriots’ Day is celebrated with historical-theme events, the Boston Marathon and an annual Boston Red Sox game held at 11:05 a.m. at Fenway Park, so baseball fans could catch the end of the race. The latter event is a tradition that began in 1959.

In other parts of the country, Patriots’ Day is celebrated with historical events. For example, in Wisconsin, Patriots’ Day is a “special observance day,” in which kids have off of school. In Madison, the State’s Capital, there are 5k, 10k and marathon runs that support organizations like the Wisconsin Historical Society.

No matter how you celebrate Patriots’ Day, this is a good time to learn about the Battles of Lexington and Concord and other historical events that occurred at that time. In years’ past, the History Channel has actually aired documentaries about these battles on Patriots’ Day, to spread awareness and education about the earliest days of our country’s history.

Be Prepared for Patriots’ Day with Patriotic Apparel

As you contemplate how you’ll celebrate Patriots’ Day, make sure you’re dressed for the occasion in your patriotic clothing. Check out all the patriotic gear you can wear on Patriots’ Day, and every other day of the year! Some American-themed items you’ll find include American flag t-shirts, clothing with the American eagle on it, Constitution-themed apparel, and even red, white, and blue masks.

Whether you find yourself going the distance in a Patriots’ Day marathon or lounging on the couch tuning into a documentary about the revolutionary war, you’ll feel a tug at your patriotic spirit if you’re wearing red, white and blue clothing that embodies the symbolism and culture of our American roots!

Visit The Flag Shirt and explore our large selection of patriotic clothing. From American flag polo shirts and button down shirts to patriotic neckties and other accessories, you’ll find any type of American-themed clothing and accessories you’re looking for! Come browse styles for men, women and kids, and show your patriotic spirit in the most stylish way possible.

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