Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Boston National Historical Park
My name is Brittany Kriner and I am interning at Boston National Historical Park this summer. During my first week, I attended interpretation training. This turned out to be an excellent way to not only get acquainted with the city, but also become familiar with the historically significant pieces of Boston that were imperative for the American Revolution. Needless to say, Boston is filled with history and I will share my particularly favorite pieces as my internship progresses.
The first piece that I will share is the U.S.S. Constitution. As one of the first vessels for the U.S. Navy, this ship is the oldest commissioned warship in the world that can still sail under her own power. Her nickname, “Old Ironsides” comes from the durability of the live oak that the ship is made out of. Cannon balls would literally bounce off the sides of her hull, providing the image of “Old Ironsides”.
On June 10, 2015, I had the opportunity of attending a tour of the dry dock that the U.S.S. Constitution currently resides. She is dry docked about once every 20 years in order to be restored. When the U.S.S. Constitution is not being restored, she is docked within high security.
(Pictured right - I am standing under the U.S.S. Constitution in dry dock)
Another interesting day was June 17, 2015. In 1775, this day was the first organized battle of the American Revolution. Although the “rebels” lost this battle, the Royal Army suffered significant casualties. Bunker Hill Day commemorates this day for without such an event, there would be no Independence Day. Before I came to Boston, I had a vague memory of this event from past history courses. After attending a week of interpretation training, my understanding became clearer. However, my first Bunker Hill Day experience is difficult to put into words. This day brought together some of the many pieces that allow National Parks to reach its audience, including patriotic members of the community, interpretive rangers, re-en-actors, and many more. From the speeches to the musket shootings, the sense of freedom and community was ringing through all that day.
The Bunker Hill Monument Association began construction of monument in 1825. The association kept running out of funding for the monument so it was not completed until 1842. The part that I find to be the most interesting involves the group of women, “the mothers and daughters of Boston”, that held an imperative role in contributing to the construction’s funding. This group held a fair at Faneuil Hall Market in 1840, raising enough money to complete the project.