The Old State House and Old South Meeting House will be closed to the public and all events cancelled until further notice to combat the spread of COVID-19 →
Entrance is included in the cost of admission.
Memory in Action
Reflecting Attucks is a new temporary exhibit at the Old State House exploring the life and legacy of Crispus Attucks. Through historical record, Native American tradition, pop culture, and other pivotal events in American history, Reflecting Attucks provokes visitors to consider how Attucks has been remembered over the past 250 years. To complement the exhibit, Revolutionary Spaces will offer special gallery talks and facilitated dialogues. The exhibit will be on display in Representatives Hall at the Old State House through Summer 2021 and is included in museum admission.
Crispus Attucks was one of five men who were killed the night of March 5, 1770, when a detachment of the King’s soldiers fired into an angry crowd gathered in King Street (now Boston’s State Street). Throughout the 1770s, Bostonians remembered the Massacre victims each year, building public support for Independence.
Boston’s black abolitionists revived this tradition of remembering during the 1850s, marking the anniversary of the Boston Massacre as Crispus Attucks Day and using the memory of Attucks’ sacrifice to mobilize support for the cause of antislavery. And thanks to the work of civil rights leaders William Monroe Trotter and Melnea Cass, Attucks Day observances became an important touchstone in Boston’s ongoing dialog about racial justice throughout the 20th-century and continuing today.
Dig Deeper: Recommended Reading
- Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter by Kerri Greenidge
- The First Martyr of Liberty: Crispus Attucks in American Memory by Mitch Kachun
- This Land is Their Land by David Silverman
- The Boston Massacre: A Family History by Serena Zabin
- Black Lives, Native Lands, White Worlds: A History of Slavery in New England by Jared Ross Hardesty