The Siege of Boston began on April 19, 1775 as the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War.
The 11-month siege ended March 17, 1776 when the Continental Army under the command of General George Washington forced the British to withdraw by sea.
This British evacuation was George Washington’s first victory of the war.
It was also a huge morale boost for the Thirteen Colonies, as the city where the rebellion began was the first to be liberated. It also happened to be Saint Patrick’s Day, a coincidence that would later play a role in the establishment of the holiday.
The day became known as Evacuation Day, and four years later on March 17, 1780, General George Washington had his Continental Army encamped at Jockey Hollow in Morristown, New Jersey, some five miles south of his headquarters at Ford Mansion.
That winter had been the “cruelest” of the war, so when March 17th rolled around, George Washington decided to grant his Continental Army a holiday to honor the victory at the Siege of Boston and “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence.”
This event is known today as The Saint Patrick’s Day Encampment of 1780.
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