Boston History 101

Want a little history lesson? Probably not, but I’m going to give you one anyway…

Did you know that John Hancock funded about 75% of the Revolutionary War? If it wasn’t for him, we’d probably still be a British colony (or Bill Gates and Oprah could’ve stepped up to the plate, I suppose). He also HATED George Washington. Why, you ask? Good question. When the revolution was in it’s infancy and JH’s big bucks were being distributed to the war effort, his only little “stipulation” was that he be made the general that led the colonial army. Only thing is he didn’t have any military background or experience (silly man). So Georgie got the job; and Hancock, clearly miffed, threatened to pull his funds from the war effort. So, to appease him, they said they’d give him his second-most-wanted request, to be the first president of the United States. But of course you know who got that job as well (hint: it rhymes with Forge Poshington). Hancock’s consolation prize was the first governorship of Massachusetts. He hated Washington so much that when the new president came to Boston with ceremony and pomp, Hancock wouldn’t even leave his mansion to greet him, claiming to have a cold…(what a big baby)

The Old State House in Boston. The Declaration of Independence was read for the first time from that balcony. I took this shot while standing on the spot where the Boston Massacre occurred…

…and here it is. The sight of the Boston Massacre. This spot today is in the middle of an intersection. To get to it, you have to risk life and limb in busy downtown Boston traffic to stand in the middle of the street on this tiny spot…or go with a tour guide and a blob of about 50 people. Motorists in Boston do stop for mobs…

The weathervane on top of Faneuil Hall in Boston is a gold grasshopper with glass doorknobs for eyes. About a year ago, someone was cleaning the grasshopper and a trap door on the belly fell open and all kinds of artifacts and documents fell out, along with a note that said something like, “Huzzah! You have discovered the grasshopper’s meal.” It was a time capsule from the 1700s…

This is just a cool, piratey sailboat from the Boston harbour. There were lots of cool boats and ships in the harbour, including the USS Constitution, aka “Old Ironsides”. I have pictures of that, too; but I actually liked the photo of this boat (schooner, dingy, whatever it’s called) better…

One of my favorite sites on the tour, as far as interesting historical facts are concerned was the Omni Parker Hotel in Boston. I didn’t get a photo of it because it was covered in scaffolding and we were sort of hurried away to the next point of interest. It was on the Freedom Trail tour we took with that guy you see wearing the patriot costume (Poor guy. Wool vest, long sleeves and tights in 85 degree weather). The Omni is supposedly one of the most haunted places in the US…what that means is that it’s had the most “ghost sighting” reports. Also, it’s the place where JFK proposed to Jackie, Ho Chi Minh was a pastry chef, Jacques Chirac was a head chef, and Malcolm X was a busboy! Sounds like a buncha balogna, I know…but that’s what the man said; and he did seem to value his job. So…you decide. (or Google…always a viable option)

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