On March 5, 1770, hundreds of angry colonists faced off against less than a dozen British soldiers in a city square in Boston.
The events of that day are remembered as the Boston Massacre, a major milestone on the road to the American Revolution.
Boston in 1770 was a hotbed of growing displeasure with British rule. It was a sentiment cultivated and directed by the Sons of Liberty, who included among their ranks Sam Adams, cousin of future American president John Adams.
Above all, the colonists were opposed to onerous taxes imposed on them from British lawmakers thousands of miles away.
"This was parliament from a distance imposing taxes here. It's famously been described as 'Taxation Without Representation,'" said Peter Drummey of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Following years of escalating protests and violence on the streets of Boston, more British troops were sent to the city in 1768 to subdue the citizenry. In fact, it does the opposite.
A young boy, Christopher Seider, was shot by a customs official during a riot in Feb. 1770. His funeral was attended by thousands of people and Boston was primed to explode.
"Sam Adams turns the boy's funeral into a Sons of Liberty rally," said Kirk Ellis, writer, and producer of the HBO series, "John Adams."
"Tensions ran high on March 5, 1770," narrated Kilmeade in the Fox Nation show, standing at the scene of The Boston Massacre. "Frustrated Bostonians scuffled in the street, harassing British occupying soldiers, anywhere they could."
That evening, after a dispute between a British sentry and a wig maker's apprentice, a crowd of colonists begins collecting in the square and hurling abuse at the British soldiers. Bells usually employed to warn residents of fire start to ring around the city.
"This is a deliberate attempt by the Sons of Liberty to bring all of Boston out onto the streets," Ellis told Fox Nation.
"Soon, tensions would overwhelm them," said Kilmeade of the British soldiers on that night in 1770. "Shots would ring out and five civilians would be dead, even more wounded. Making this the fault line where the revolution began."
"This moment really galvanized an inter-colonial sense of being oppressed by British actions in a way that was very dangerous. It sparked the American Revolution," said Dr. Scott Stephenson of the Museum of the American Revolution.
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