Tensions between the American colonists and
the British were already running high in the early spring of
1770. Late in the afternoon, on March 5, a crowd of jeering
Bostonians slinging snowballs gathered around a small group of
British soldiers guarding the Boston Customs House. The soldiers
became enraged after one of them had been hit, and they fired
into the crowd, even though they were under orders not to fire.
Five colonists were shot and killed.
The first person
who was hit when the British soldiers began firing was an
African American sailor named Crispus Attucks. Although not much
is known about his past, it's likely that Attucks escaped
slavery around 1750 and worked on whaling ships for the next 20
years. Of the five civilians who died in the Boston Massacre,
Attucks is the only one who became widely known, and he became
the first hero of the American Revolution.
between the British and the colonists had been on the rise
because the British government had been trying to increase
control over the colonies and raise taxes at the same time. The
event in Boston helped to unite the colonies against Britain.
What started as a minor fight became a turning point in the
beginnings of the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre
helped spark the colonists' desire for American independence,
while the dead rioters became martyrs for liberty. Can you think
of other major events in history that began with a small