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MAIN Arrow to Home Life - Holidays Holidays Arrow to St. Patrick's Day St. Patrick's Day Arrow to Evacuation Day Evacuation Day

Revolutionary Boston
A major early victory in the War
for Independence, March 17, 1776
saw the British evacuate Boston
without a shot being fired.

In 1776, it was great day for the Boston Irish, and not only because it was St. Patrick's Day.

As thousands of British troops sailed out of the harbor in utter defeat on March 17, 1776 many Bostoners laughed, some cried, others even gathered to play the traditional "St. Patrick's Day in the Morning"!

For the Irish immigrant volunteers of Washington's newly formed Revolutionary army - it was a momentous day.

Boston Evacuation Day 2023

Today, Evacuation Day is still celebrated with glee throughout Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, Massachusetts.

In 2023, Evacuation Day falls on Friday, March 17 so watch for schools and government offices in Boston to be closed in observance.

Boston Evacuation Day - A Bit o' History

It was less of a battle and more of an epic staring contest. The British occupation of Boston centered around one of the most important ports of entry in America in 1776 -- Boston Harbor.

To protect it, George Washington's Continental Army had secretly fortified nearby Dorchester Heights with cannon (captured at Fort Ticonderoga - another early victory for the American side) that effectively produced a major standoff.

After an almost year-long siege, Washington gave Howe an ultimatum — leave peacefully now, or attack and face the consequences.

A humiliated Howe finally retreated on March 17, 1776 with 10,000 British troops sailing out of Boston for safe harbor to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Going down in utter defeat, the British never tried to occupy Boston again.

Despite the importance of the victory, Boston didn't officially recognize Evacuation Day until 1901 when Boston's mayor declared a public holiday in honor of the sacrifices by early patriots and Irish Americans. St. Patrick's Day and Evacuation Day have been celebrated as a dual holiday ever since.

More about Evacuation Day around the Web:

Mass Moments: Boston Celebrates First Evacuation Day

The British Depart Boston

also see -> Travel the Boston Irish Heritage Trail | Boston Marathon

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