Worcester marked its role in revolution — Celebration to Return in 2016

Perhaps the "shot heard round the world" could have been here, if only there had been a shot. Worcester had everything else. On Sept. 6, 1774, more than 4,600 militia from Worcester and three dozen surrounding towns descended on the county courthouse, forcing the magistrates appointed by the British administration to resign, and effectively declaring Worcester County to be beyond the reach of Parliament in London. Sunday, re-enactors and visitors from across the county gathered on North Main Street to take part in an imitation of what they believe to be the long-forgotten start of American independence.

Most accounts of the revolution consider the beginning of open rebellion to be the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord on April 19th, 1775. But from mid‐August to mid‐September of 1774, the citizens of Berkshire, Springfield, and Worcester Counties, mostly farmers, ended British rule over themselves and on their countryside forever. With no real organization, no official leaders, no fixed institutions, and no bloodshed – they went up against the most powerful empire on earth and won. It was not the Stamp Act, Tea Tax, or the Massachusetts Port Act alone that provoked the actions at Lexington and Concord. Rather it was the series of events, both political and rebellious, that predate it.

The spectacle of the Worcester Revolution sent a shock wave across the Massachusetts colony, all the way to Philadelphia where the First Continental Congress had met for the very first time the day before. Worcester's militiamen had irreversibly set the stage for an inevitable confrontation with the British later. That confrontation freed the remaining parts of Massachusetts left under British rule – notably the British garrison in the city of Boston.

Given the momentous actions on September 6, 1774, it remains a mystery why we have yet to honor or commemorate such an extraordinary day, unique to America's heritage. Unlike Worcester, the towns of Concord, Lexington and their surrounding communities proudly celebrate their revolutionary heritage with painstakingly authentic reenactments, eloquent narratives of the events, and colorful parades in honor of the historic battles fought on April 19, 1775.

The celebration to reestablish the memory of Worcester County's pivotal role in the American Revolution is being held across 2014 through a series of lectures, city walks, publications, and a public fair with the 37 towns. We expect to see workshops for teachers, visits by re-enactors to classrooms, exhibits of artifacts of the period, tours of the historical sites, and a series of presentations by authors and academics. We will commemorate the remarkable events of September 6, 1774 to make the story a vital part of the narrative of the beginnings of the American Revolution, and to develop a sense of pride in the role Worcester County played in the founding of America.



“Walking the Gauntlet” Reenactment — September 7th

You having desired, and even insisted upon it, that all judicial proceedings be stayed by the justices of the court appointed this day, by law, to be held at Worcester, within and for the county of Worcester, on account of the unconstitutional act of the British parliament, respecting the


Chains of Liberty — an Original Play September 7th

The Chains of Liberty, an original play by James David Moran depicts Worcester's role in the American Revolution. The play will be performed at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on September 7th as part of a daylong festival celebrating the closing of the Royal Courts and the end of British Authority in


“Rum and Revolution” — legendary entertainers September 7th

Worcester Revolution of 1774 is excited to announce it will be host to an unforgettable presentation of "Rum and Revolution" with Sir Jeremy Bell and musician Larry Young at 11am and noon in Tuckerman Hall. A self-proclaimed "failed accountant," Bell has toasted celebrities


Children’s Activities – Part of the Celebration September 7th

The Timothy Bigelow Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) are opening their house and grounds from 10am to 2pm on September 7th at 140 Lincoln Street for a variety of children and family activities in collaboration with the celebration of the Worcester Revolution.


A Modern Day Isaiah Thomas — An Interpretation September 7th

Isaiah Thomas was a printer and a Revolutionary War patriot. As the new nation was finding its sea legs, Thomas founded the American Antiquarian Society, the country's first historical organization of national scope. As part of the September 7th, actor Neil Gustafson will perform at 11am.


“Closing of the Courts” Bus Tour September 7th

September 7th, as part of the Worcester Revolution of 1774 festivities, Preservation Worcester will offer two bus tours that will help participants imagine the historical personages, the setting, and the scene of the historic closing of the courts.Worcester looked nothing



Musters, Craftsmen, Family Events in Institute Park all day September 7th

Our Revolutionary festival on September 7th in Institute Park will be full of activities. The event's signature themes, arts and crafts, and colonial musters will be there - and all of it free. If you do not want to drive to the park, take the shuttle


Salisbury Singers poised for September 7th

Salisbury Singers faced many challenges over the years, but their long-established a tradition of professional quality performances of a cappella and accompanied choral music follows them to Tuckerman Hall September 7th at 1am and 2pm.


Invitation to Revolutionary Reenactors, Interpreters, Sutlers for September 7th

Reenactors, interpreters, and sutlers of the Revolutionary period are invited to join us throughout the day. Space is available in Institute Park for musters, recruiting new members, demonstration of colonial life, firings, and sale of colonial-style items.


Six Presentations on Rebellions and Families in our Towns — September 7th

Enjoy six presentation on our communities in 1774 during September 7th. Hear stores of the families, weapons, and rebellions through the countryside during the time of the Worcester Revolution. Genealogy, muskets, town histories, defiance.


Walking tour of Revolutionary Worcester — September 7th

Worcester Common offers a natural setting in the heart of the city that is pleasing in itself. But, scattered through its grounds, and lining its edges, are memorials, monuments, and buildings that encourage us to think about the city's past.


Original 1774 Documents — September 7th

See many of the original documents documenting the events of September 6th, 1774. One of these documents will be the Parkman Diary. Breck Parkman, a militiamen from Westborough, took a tally, and his father



Worcester Revolution of 1774 wins National Award

WORCESTER, MA— The Worcester Revolution of 1774 Project has won a 2015 Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) accepted this award on behalf of the consortium of individuals and organizations that created the Worcester Revolution of 1774 Project. The award was presented

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Passage by British parliament of the restrictive Massachusetts Government Act in May 1774, one of the "Intolerable Acts" issued in response to the Boston Tea Party of 1773, created a local reaction that wasn't especially tolerant of the aims of

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A Day in Worcester’s Hidden History

Worcester Revolution of 1774, Inc., a consortium made up of a number of local organizations to preserve and teach Worcester's early history, will celebrate and raise awareness of a lesser-known piece of Worcester's past at an all-day festival


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‘March for Independence’ makes stop in area towns

The Oakham Historical Association hosted a 16.5-mile March for Independence on Saturday, Aug. 9, to follow in some historic footsteps, stopping in a few area towns. "It's been a very nice walk," said New Braintree resident Greg Dwelly

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