While most Americans are familiar with Independence Day, there’s another holiday that’s often overlooked: Patriots’ Day. Held annually on the third Monday in April, it commemorates the first battles between the United States and Great Britain. In this post, we’re going to reveal several fun facts about Patriots’ Day that you probably don’t know.
#1) It’s a State Holiday
Although it’s recognized throughout the country, several states formerly recognize Patriots’ Day as an official state holiday. Both Massachusetts and Maine, for example, recognize it as a state holiday. This means municipality workers in these states get the day off, as all state-run offices are closed.
#2) The Battles of Lexington and Concord
Patriots’ Day honors the thousands of American soldiers who died while fighting during the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The first battles of the American Revolutionary War, they were a turning a point in America’s history. Previously, the Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain hadn’t engaged each other military. With the Battles of Lexington and Concord, however, full-blown war was now a reality for both armies.
#3) It Was Originally Held on April 19
Although it’s now held on the third Monday in April, Patriots’ Day was originally held on April 19. This is because April 19 was the date on which the Battles of Lexington and Concord were fought. It wasn’t until the late 1960s when the holiday’s date was changed. Since then, Patriots’ Day is observed on the third Monday in April throughout the United States.
#4) The Boston Marathon
Even if you’re unfamiliar with Patriots’ Day, you’ve probably heard of the Boston Marathon. But did you know that the Boston Marathon has been held on Patriots’ Day each year for more than a century? Since 1897, Boston officials have held this highly popular running event on Patriots’ Day. Today, the Boston Marathon is one of the country’s most prolific marathons, with the winner receiving $150,000 in prize money.
#5) First Day of Vacation
For local schools and universities, Patriots’ Day is the first day of a week-long vacation. This, of course, makes Patriots’ Day a popular holiday among students, both in private as well as public educational institutions. It’s not as long as summer vacation, but it’s still an extra week off from school nonetheless.
#6) It’s Also Known as ‘Marathon Monday’
Because of its relation to the Boston Marathon, many people refer to Patriots’ Day as “Marathon Monday.” The term has become synonymous with this holiday, especially in Massachusetts where the Boston Marathon is held.