Literacy Activity Minute Man National Historical Park

Primary Resource: Documenting This Moment in History

Early on the morning of April 19, 1775 the sounds of horse hoofs echoed across the countryside while shouts of warning alarmed citizens far and wide. The British Regulars were marching toward Lexington and Concord intent on collecting illegal weapons and arresting those colonists plotting for a war. After crossing through the town of Lexington, British scouts surrounded the famous midnight alarm riders, Paul Revere, Samuel Prescott, and William Dawes. In a flurry of activity William Dawes and Samuel Prescott managed to escape the trap, but the British soldiers captured Paul Revere. After hours of interrogation the British soldiers released Revere, and he returned to Lexington.

The story of Paul Revere and his midnight ride is a classic example of an important event in American History, but how do we know any of this actually happened? We know what happened to Paul Revere and his accomplices because after the events of April 19, 1775, they wrote about it. In diaries, letters, and books many individuals wrote about their experiences on the opening day of the American Revolution, which helps historians, teachers and park rangers teach you about those events today.

Like the midnight riders of April 19, 1775, we live in a time of incredible and world changing history. Keep the spirit of 1775 alive by telling your story, what’s happening in your life, what you’re learning, what is important to you right now and what you wish for the future. You can write a letter to a friend or family member, make a journal entry, or even create some posts on social media. Remember, only that which is recorded can live on and help people 200 years from now understand what life was like in the spring of 2020.

Last updated: July 4, 2020

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