The Boston Tea Party: 1973 Retrospective

Recorded February 28, 2022

Protest and Commemoration

In 1973, as the nation prepared for the bicentennial of American Independence, a different sort of commemoration was brewing. A reenactment sponsored by the City of Boston to mark the 200th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party became the scene of real-life protests calling for environmental protection, racial justice, an end to corporate profiteering, and the impeachment of Richard Nixon. Some 10,000 people marched in the streets of Boston, mock oil barrels were thrown into the harbor, and an effigy of the President was raised.

Half a century later, this moment of our city’s history is all but forgotten, but as we head towards the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, it raises important questions. How and why do these events deserve to be commemorated? Who inherits a legacy of protest and revolution? Can we look back at a moment frozen in time and still march forward in the spirit of change? This must-see panel discussion is moderated by WBUR’s Paris Alston and will feature Larry DiCara and Henry Adams.


  • HENRY ADAMS currently serves as Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. A graduate of Harvard College, he received his M.A. and PH.D. from Yale, where he received the Frances Blanshard Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in art history. He is the author of over 500 publications in the field of American art ranging in time from the 17th century to the present. The painter Andrew Wyeth described his book Eakins Revealed as “without question, the most extraordinary biography I have ever read on an artist.”
  • LARRY DICARA served on the Boston City Council for ten years and has been intimately involved with the development process in Boston for many decades. While on the City Council, he actively participated in many of the decisions which made Boston the city it is today: Quincy Market, Copley Place, Charlestown Navy Yard, etc. As an attorney in private practice, Larry represented a wide array of clients with matters in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.

Hosted by PARIS ALSTON, co-host of Morning Edition at GBH News. She was a host of the NPR podcast “Consider This,” produced in conjunction with GBH and WBUR.

This event is supported in part by a grant from the Lowell Institute.

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