Image description: Today is the anniversary of the Boston Massacre.
On March 5, 1770, jeering colonists threw snowballs at a group British soldiers guarding the Boston Customs House. The soldiers, though under orders not to fire, opened fire on the crowd.
The first person to be hit was an African American sailor named Crispus Attucks, seen in the center of the foreground. In 1888, the Crispus Attucks Monument was erected on the Boston Common. Five colonists were killed, and the event came to be known as the Boston Massacre.
The soldiers were tried in court for murder, but they were acquitted on grounds for self defense. Their lawyer was John Adams, future President of the United States.
The event helped to unite the colonies against Britain and became a turning point in the beginnings of the American Revolution.
This copy of a chromolithograph by John Bufford after William L. Champney, circa 1856 is from the National Archives.