5 Radical History Spots in Boston

Get up Stand up. Stand up for your right: Explore Boston’s radical past.


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Bostonians are definitely not afraid to challenge the established order. We could say it’s in their blood; after all, their city did kick-start the American Revolution. Take a look at some notable spots in the city where the people of this fine city stood up to say NO.

1. Boston CommonΒ 

On October 15, 1969, 100,000 people marched from Cambridge Common to Boston Common, in protest against the Vietnam War. The mobilization was aimed at the newly elected Nixon administration, urging them to withdraw all troops from Vietnam. Anti-war sentiment had grown significantly, as stories portraying the horror of war, reached the American people through the media.Β By the end of the conflict, 58,300 American servicemen had been killed or reported missing.

139 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02111, United States

Open in Google Maps Aerial shot of Boston Common

Image Credit: @boston


2. Museum of African American HistoryΒ 

Erected in 1806, this building became the centre of Boston’s black community in the 19th century, and the birthplace of the New England Anti-Slavery Society. It was here, following an encounter with a local racist mob, that prominent abolitionist Frederick Douglas made a speech in support of John Brown, a fellow abolitionist, who had been executed for his anti-slavery activities. The speech was one of many anti-slavery speeches Douglas made across the country; the most famous being, ‘What to the Slave is the Fourth of July’.Β 

46 Joy Street Beacon Hill, Boston, MA
Open in Google Maps A red bricked building

Image Credit: @maahmuseum

3. Tent City ApartmentsΒ 

In 1969, in a South Boston parking lot, hundreds demonstrated the city’s rapid urban development plans, which saw working-class homes, labelled as β€˜slums’, Β demolished in favour of high-income dwellings. A tent city was formed, and thanks to the media and thousands of supporters, public support was won. After a further 20 year of struggle, the parking lot was turned into the Tent City development, home to several hundred mixed-income families.Β Β 

130 Dartmouth St, Boston MA 02116

Open in Google MapsΒ 

4. Faneuil Hall

Anthony Burns was an escaped slave who was detained under the Fugitive Slave Act and forcibly deported back into a life of slavery. Hundreds gathered outside Faneuil Hall to protest his capture, and an incredible 50,000 lined State street as he was led, in chains, to his ship. Black drapes and upside-down American flags were hung from windows, as well as a coffin, Β which was strung up, with the words β€˜liberty’ inscribed into it.Β 

Faneuil HallΒ 
4 S Market St, Boston, MA 02109
Open in Google Maps Faneuil Hall bell tower

Image Credit: @faneuilhall

5. Dewey Square

On October 10, 2011, Occupy Boston protestors gathered on Dewey Square, in the city’s financial district. The crowd of 200 people stood in unity to voice their anger at an unfair capitalist system that promotes economic inequality. It followed the Occupy Wall Street protest that had happened the previous month in New York. A tent city was formed which, five days later, numbered around 90 tents.Β 

Boston, MA
Open in Google MapsStreet art mural showing two birds








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