|Observed by||Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin, encouraged in Florida.|
|Observances||Battles of Lexington and Concord|
|Date||Third Monday in April|
|2012 date||April 16|
|2013 date||April 15|
|2014 date||April 21|
|2015 date||April 20|
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 on April 19, 1775. These were the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. It is observed on the third Monday in April in Massachusetts and Maine (once part of Massachusetts), and is a public school observance day in Wisconsin. Florida law also encourages people to celebrate it, though it is not treated as a public holiday. Observances and re-enactments of these first battles of the American Revolution 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 rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes, calling out warnings the whole way.
Since 1969, the holiday has been observed on the third Monday in April, providing a three-day long weekend, as well as being the first day of public school vacation week in Maine and Massachusetts. Previously, it had been designated as April 19, the actual anniversary of the battles.
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.
Patriots' Day was first proclaimed in Massachusetts in 1894 by Gov. Frederic T. Greenhalge, replacing Fast Day as the public holiday in April on the civic calendar. 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."
The Boston Marathon is run on Patriots' Day every year, so the holiday is referred to as "Marathon Monday" by many Bostonians.
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.
Recent and future dates
- 2011: Monday, April 18
- 2012: Monday, April 16
- 2013: Monday, April 15
- 2014: Monday, April 21
- 2015: Monday, April 20
- 2016: Monday, April 18
- "Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 6, § 12J.". Massachusetts General Laws. The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- "Chapter 118.02(6m): General School Operations, Special observance days.". The Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations. State of Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- "Maine Stat. Rev. 9-B, § 145.". Maine Revised Statutes. Maine State Legislature. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- "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.
- Patriots' Day information, via noblenet.org
- Information about Battle Reenactments, via battleroad.org
- Full Schedule of Concord Patriots Day Events and Video, via theconcordlife.com