"Revolutionary America! 1763-1789 April 20-November 3, 2002

The Shot Heard 'Round the World

photo of exhibit section
At the left of this photo:
POCKET PISTOL owned by Paul Revere, late 1700s
  On loan from the collection of:
    --Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston MA
LANTERN (hanging from ceiling) of pierced tin, late 1700s
    --Lou and Colleen Picek, Main Street Antiques and Art, West Branch IA
At the right of this photo:
BEDFORD MILITIA FLAG (replica) carried at the Battle of Concord
    --Naval War College Museum, Newport RI
    --Kevin Smith, Coralville IA
ENGRAVINGS (reproductions) that depict "The Battle of Lexington" and "Engagement at the North Bridge in Concord," by Amos Doolittle


British troops were planning a march to Lexington to arrest John Hancock and Sam Adams, then on to Concord to seize colonial munitions. At nightfall on April 18, Paul Revere hung a two-lantern signal in the steeple of Old North Church, alerting his comrades that the Redcoats were crossing the harbor. Revere then galloped to Lexington and pressed on to Concord, where he was captured by a British patrol. Questioned at gunpoint, Revere was released after divulging nothing but misinformation.

"The shot heard 'round the world"

Over 700 Redcoats marched through the night of April 18, 1775, reaching Lexington near dawn. Awaiting them were 77 Minutemen - farmers and laborers trained to be "ready in a minute." One musket went off. Historians still debate which side fired the first shot, but within seconds, eight colonists lay dead on Lexington Green.

On to Concord, 400 Minutemen exchanged gunfire with 120 Redcoats at the North Bridge. Pealing church bells spread the alarm and colonial numbers grew to 5,000. The British would have been massacred, but reinforcements arrived as they fled back to Boston. April 19, 1775 … the war had begun!


When Did it Happen? Sub-Sections
The Shot Heard Round the World (You are here)
  Miniature Diorama
  George Washington, Commander in Chief
Common Sense
  Pamphlet, "Common Sense"
The Colonies Commit Treason
  56 Traitors Who Signed the Declaration of Independence


"Virtual Exhibits Main page" button

Hoover Library Website button