Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Boston Massacre

This Day in History: March 5, 1770 What began as taunts of British soldiers, ended with 5 Americans dead.

Troops had been dispatched to America to enforce various taxation schemes enacted by England.
British Captain Thomas Preston, the commanding officer at the Customs House, ordered his men to fix their bayonets and join the guard outside the building. The colonists responded by throwing snowballs and other objects at the British regulars, and Private Hugh Montgomery was hit, leading him to discharge his rifle at the crowd. The other soldiers began firing a moment later, and when the smoke cleared, five colonists were dead or dying - Crispus Attucks, Patrick Carr, Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, and James Caldwell - and three more were injured. Although it is unclear whether Crispus Attucks, an African American, was the first to fall as is commonly believed, the deaths of the five men are regarded by some historians as the first fatalities in the American Revolutionary War.
Two British soldiers were found convicted of manslaughter.

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