|Observed by||Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin, encouraged in Florida.|
|Observances||Battles of Lexington and Concord|
|Date||Third Monday in April|
|2014 date||April 21|
|2015 date||April 20|
|2016 date||April 18|
|2017 date||April 17|
Patriots' Day (officially Patriots' Day in Massachusetts and Wisconsin and Patriot's Day in Maine) is a civic holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775.
The holiday was originally celebrated on April 19, the actual anniversary of the battles. Since 1969, it has been observed on the third Monday in April, providing a three-day long weekend in Massachusetts and in Maine, which until the mid-19th century was part of Massachusetts. The day also is the first day of a vacation week for public schools in both states.
Observances and re-enactments of the battles occur annually at Lexington Green in Lexington, Massachusetts (around 6:00 am) and the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts (around 9:00 am). In the morning, mounted re-enactors with state police escorts retrace the midnight rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes, calling out warnings the whole way.
Patriots' Day is also a school holiday for many local colleges and universities, both public and private. In Maine and Massachusetts, when Patriots' Day falls on a day where income tax returns would otherwise be due for the remainder of the country, residents of those states are given until midnight of the next day (Tuesday) to submit their state tax returns. Federal income tax returns are still due on the same date as the rest of the country.
The biggest celebration of Patriots' Day is the Boston Marathon, which has been run every Patriots' Day since April 19, 1897 to mark the then-recently established holiday, with the race linking the Athenian and American struggles for liberty. (Marathons being so named after the Greek Battle of Marathon.)
Patriots' Day was first proclaimed in Massachusetts in 1894 by Gov. Frederic T. Greenhalge replacing Fast Day as a public holiday. It was established on April 19, commemorating the date of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, and consolidating the longstanding municipal observances of Lexington Day and Concord Day. It also marked the first bloodshed of the American Civil War in the Baltimore riot of 1861, during which four members of the Massachusetts militia were slain and 36 injured. The dual commemoration, Greenhalge explained, celebrated "the anniversary of the birth of liberty and union." In 1938, with the generation that had fought in the Civil War largely off the voter rolls, the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill establishing the holiday "in commemoration of the opening events of the War of the Revolution."
Maine followed Massachusetts in 1907 and replaced its Fast Day with Patriot's Day.
The Boston Red Sox have been scheduled to play at home in Fenway Park on Patriots' Day every year since 1959. The games were postponed due to weather in 1959, 1961, 1965, 1967, and 1984, and canceled in 1995 because of the late start to the season. Since 1968 the games have started early, in the morning, around 11:00 am. The early start to these games usually resulted in the game ending just as the marathon is heading through Kenmore Square. However, since 2007 the marathon has started between 9:30 am and 10:00 am, resulting in the racers going through Kenmore towards the middle of the Red Sox game.
- McMillan, Susan (April 20, 2014). "Patriot’s Day or Patriots’ Day? Punctuation confusion continues". Kennebec Journal. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
- "Massachusetts Legal Holidays". Citizen Information Service. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- "Holidays". Human Resources Policy and Practices Manual. Maine Bureau of Human Resources. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- "Wisconsin Public School Observance Days". Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
- §683.14, Fla. Stat. (2013) http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0683/0683.html
- "Mass., Maine residents have 2 tax filing deadlines". Globe Newspaper Company. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
- "The History of the Boston Marathon: A Perfect Way to Celebrate Patriot's Day". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- "1995. Boston Red Sox Box Scores". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- "Patriots' Day game may start earlier". Boston Red Sox. 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Patriots' Day.|
- Patriots' Day information, via noblenet.org
- Information about Battle Reenactments, via battleroad.org
- Massachusetts General Laws ch. 6, § 12
- The Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations General School Operations, Special observance day
- Maine Statues Rev. 9-B, § 145