The Boston Massacre, an anniversary and lesson
The Boston Massacre occurred 241 years ago this week. Konstantin Kakaes, a writer at The Daily, a new online magazine, summarized the key facts of this critical moment in our nation’s history. Three men died and two others were mortally wounded on March 5, 1770, when British soldiers fired on a crowd of protesters. Bostonians were angry over new taxes and threw snowballs at the British soldiers. Some believe that the first shots were fired accidentally. Others claimed that Captain Thomas Preston shouted for his soldiers not to fire. Nonetheless, soldiers did kill several colonists. In order to calm the city, Britain quickly arrested the soldiers and put them on trial. Acting as their defense lawyer, John Adams, the future President of the United States, argued on the soldiers’ behalf. Many colonists were angry at him for defending the British troops. He told the jury, “Facts are stubborn things.” The jury acquitted six of the eight soldiers. Two were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to having their thumbs branded.