“Paul Revere’s Ride” 150 years old, during National Poetry Month

Fitting and appropriate.

U.S. Postal Service stamp commemorating Longfellow and the poem about Paul Revere's Ride

U.S. Postal Service stamp commemorating Longfellow and the poem about Paul Revere's Ride, from 2007 - image from Bowdoin College: The stamp by artist Kazuhiko Sano features an older Longfellow based on a photograph taken around 1876. The background pictures evoke Paul Revere’s Ride with a glimpse of the steeple of the Old North Church, where “a second lamp in the belfry burns” to indicate the arrival of the British by sea.

Longfellow’s poem about the ride of Boston patriot Paul Revere turns 150 years old this month — and April is, as it is every year, National Poetry Month.  April 18 is the date for the ride given in the poem.

Better, there is a blog devoted to the 150th anniversary of the poem.  It’s covering the poem and activities to commemorate the anniversary.

Oh!  We’ve already missed this morning’s reenactment along the road — better hustle down there for this afternoon’s activities:

Saturday, April 17

Battle Road Reenactment
WhenSat, April 17, 8:30am – 5:30pm
WhereMinute Man National Historical Park, Concord and Lincoln (map)
DescriptionMinute Man National Historical Park, in partnership with hundreds of Colonial and British reenactors, celebrates the opening battle of the American Revolution with a day full of exciting living history activities. At Hartwell Tavern in Lincoln, from 9:30 to 5:30, you will have the chance to talk with reenactors and park rangers, see a historic home and tavern that stood witness to the events of April, 19, 1775, and enjoy a variety of 18th-century activities including demonstrations of musket drill, artillery, crafts, and games. At 8:30 am, the Commemoration of the North Bridge Fight in Concord shatters the peace of the countryside with the sounds of marching men and musketry. British and Colonial Reenactors, Park Rangers and Volunteers bring the fateful morning of April 19, 1775, to life in this stirring commemoration of “the shot heard round the world.” Parking for North Bridge events is on Monument Street; the NPS staff will direct you. At 12:30 pm, the Bloody Angle Tactical Demonstration features hundreds of British and Colonial Reenactors encamped at the Hartwell Tavern and Captain William Smith house in Lincoln. They will stage a running tactical weapons demonstration along a half-mile of the original Battle Road. Hartwell Tavern is located on Rt 2A in Lincoln; NPS staff will direct you to parking.

Longfellow and “Paul Revere’s Ride”

Patriot Fife and Drum
WhenSat, April 17, 1pm – 3pm
WherePaul Revere House, 19 North Square, Boston (map)
DescriptionEnjoy a lively concert of music that accompanied colonists as they marched, danced, wooed their beloveds, and waged war. David Vose and Jim Snarski provide fascinating insight into each selection they perform. Free with museum admission: adults $3.50, seniors and college students $3.00, children ages 5-17 $1.00. Members and North End residents admitted free at all times.

Was the poem historically accurate?  No, and here’s the reason why.

Is the poem worth using in your classroom?

Of course it is.  Why else would I tell you?

Here, see my earlier post about the poem.  And this one about the “shot heard ’round the world.”

3 Responses to “Paul Revere’s Ride” 150 years old, during National Poetry Month

  1. Ellie says:

    Good old American poem, and always stirring to hear. And, it sounds better than, “Listen kiddies while I flap my jaws and tell you about old William Dawes.” One must point out (and the info is probably there in your links) that William Prescott finished his ride, unlike Revere and Dawes, and nobody to my knowledge, has written a poem or even a parody about him. How would one do it? William Prescott threw on his waistcoat…never mind. Thanks for the bit of history, and I’m enjoying Poetry Month.


  2. […] stumbled into National Poetry Month and National Poem in Your Pocket Day a few years ago, gearing up to use The Ride of Paul Revere on the anniversary of his famous ride.  How are you using poetry in your […]


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