Six months after the
Continental Congress first met, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress,
led by John Hancock, declared April 15, 1775:
circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to
reflect that, whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off
the impending judgments...
be set apart as a Day of Public
Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer...to confess their sins...to implore the
Forgiveness of all our Transgression."
The British planned a preemptive strike by marching to Lexington and Concord to seize their guns.
They planned to arrest John Hancock, and Tea Party leader Samuel Adams.
poem Paul Revere's Ride, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
described how patriots sent a warning from Boston's Old North Church to
warn Lexington and Concord that the King's troops were coming:
"Listen my children and you shall hear
of the midnight ride of Paul Revere...
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch...
One if by land, two if by sea..."
Though Paul Revere was captured, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott continued their ride.
In early dawn, APRIL 19, 1775, American "Minutemen," confronted the British on Lexington Green and Concord's Old North Bridge.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote The Concord Hymn in 1837 to dedicate Daniel Chester French's "Minute Man Statue."
The most famous lines from the poem are:
"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps,
And time the ruined bridge has swept,
Down the dark stream that seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We place with joy a votive stone,
That memory may their deeds redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
O Thou who made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid time and nature gently spare,
The shaft we raised to them and Thee."
The same day, APRIL 19, 1775, Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull proclaimed a Day of Fasting, that:
"God would graciously pour out His Holy Spirit on us to bring us to a thorough repentance and effectual reformation
that our iniquities may not be our ruin;
that He would restore, preserve and secure the liberties of this and all the other British American colonies,
and make the land a mountain of Holiness, and habitation of righteousness forever."
New England celebrates APRIL 19th as "Patriots' Day."
months after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Continental
Congress, under President John Hancock, declared, June 12, 1775:
the present critical, alarming and calamitous state...do earnestly
recommend, that Thursday, the 12th of July next, be observed by the
inhabitants of all the English Colonies on this Continent, as a Day of
Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer,
we may with united hearts and voices, unfeignedly confess and deplore
our many sins and offer up our joint supplications to the All-wise,
Omnipotent and merciful Disposer of all Events, humbly beseeching Him to
forgive our iniquities...
It is recommended to
Christians of all denominations to assemble for public worship and to
abstain from servile labor and recreations of said day."
The conflict was now underway that in eight years would result in America's independence.
Also on APRIL 19, in 1951, after 48 years of patriotic service, Five-Star General Douglas MacArthur retired.
of the most decorated soldiers in U.S. history, MacArthur served in
France in WWI, was Superintendent of West Point and the youngest Army
Chief of Staff.
General Douglas MacArthur was Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific in WWII and received Japan's surrender.
He commanded UN forces against North Korea till President Truman dismissed him for not fighting a limited war.
Douglas MacArthur said:
the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just
fade away, an old soldier who has tried to do his duty as God gave him
the light to see that duty."