pas·time – /ˈpasˌtīm/ – noun
- an activity that someone does regularly for enjoyment rather than work; a hobby. “his favorite pastimes were shooting and golf [and local history!]” (Source: Lexico – https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/pastime)
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After moving to Massachusetts from New Jersey in 1998, Patriot’s Day quickly became my favorite holiday. My enthusiasm for the day, though, had less to do with my ability to sleep in on that day and then meet up with another librarian friend at 11 a.m. during our day off to watch the Red Sox play–as great as that was. (Growing up as a Cubs fan in Chicago made adopting the Red Sox as my new “hometown” team rather easy given their shared futility on the field up until that point–it was an adoption that I was never able to stomach carrying out with the New York area teams despite living in that area for a number of years.)
No, my love of Patriot’s Day had more to do with the knowledge that we, collectively as people living in Massachusetts, had that day off while everyone else in the country had to go to work. When I bragged to family and friends back home how I was looking forward to my upcoming day off, they would quickly interrupt and say, “Patriot-what?” And then I could self-satisfyingly explain to them the “magic” of Patriot’s Day.
I have never woken up early to witness the annual Battle Green Reenactment at Lexington–I am not one to fight crowds, especially that early in the morning–and unfortunately, given the current crisis, no one else will be showing up this year to see it either. Nor will we be watching the Red Sox play. So why not mark the day from the comfort of your own home by exploring Westborough’s participation in the American Revolution through its historical documents, one of this week’s Local History Pastimes activities? And keep reading to discover other ways to “attend” Patriot’s Day activities.
–Anthony Vaver, Local History Librarian
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- Records of Westborough’s Involvement in the American Revolution, the Massachusetts Militia, and the Continental Army, 1774-1792 – In response to a call for towns to form a militia in 1774, the Town of Westborough established a militia unit and elected Captain Edmund Brigham (1733-1806) as its commanding officer. The British attack at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775 prompted forty-six Minutemen from Westborough to march to Lexington (they were too late to fight in the battle) and then on to Charlestown that same night.
Explore images available through the Digital Commonwealth of actual historical records held at the Westborough Public Library that document Westborough’s involvement in the American Revolution.
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- Westborough Town Records, 1717-1781 – Want more? Continue your research of Westborough’s involvement in the American Revolution by reading our newly digitized town meeting records. Records for 1774–a crucial year leading up to the American Revolution–start on page 290.
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- Virtual Patriot’s Day 2020 – The Lexington Historical Society has put together ways for us to celebrate Patriot’s Day virtually. Through their website, you can view footage of last year’s Battle Green Reenactment, participate in some of their virtual events, and take awesome virtual tours of the houses they own (really, the tours are amazing, so check it out).