Place:South Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States

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NameSouth Boston
TypeUnknown
Located inSuffolk, Massachusetts, United States
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

South Boston is a densely populated neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, located south and east of the Fort Point Channel and abutting Dorchester Bay. South Boston, colloquially known as Southie, was once a predominantly working class Irish Catholic community, but is nowadays a hot spot for the millennial population.

South Boston contains Dorchester Heights, where George Washington forced British troops to evacuate during the American Revolutionary War. South Boston has undergone gentrification, and consequently, its real estate market has seen property values join the highest in the city. South Boston has also left its mark on history with Boston busing desegregation. South Boston is also home to the St. Patrick's Day Parade, a celebration of the Irish-American culture and the Evacuation Day observance

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History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Geographically, Dorchester Neck was an isthmus, a narrow strip of land that connected the mainland of the colonial settlement of Dorchester with Dorchester Heights. Landfill has since greatly increased the amount of land on the eastern side of the historical neck, and widened the connection to the mainland to the point that South Boston is no longer considered separate from it. South Boston gained an identity separate from Dorchester, but the two were annexed by Boston in pieces, from 1804 to 1870.

During the American Revolutionary War, George Washington placed a cannon on Dorchester Heights, thereby forcing the evacuation of British troops from Boston on March 17, 1776. The British evacuated Boston and Fort William and Mary for Halifax, Nova Scotia. Fort William and Mary was replaced with a brick fortification known as Fort Independence. That fort was replaced by a granite fortification (bearing the same name) prior to the American Civil War, and still stands on Castle Island as a National Historic Landmark. Edgar Allan Poe was stationed at Castle Island for five months in 1827 and was inspired to write The Cask of Amontillado based on an early Castle Island legend.

During the 1970s, South Boston received national attention for its opposition to court-mandated school (de facto) desegregation by busing students to different neighborhoods.

In the early 21st century, property values, especially in the City Point neighborhood near Castle Island, rose to the level of some of the highest in the city. The City Point area of South Boston, labeled "East Side" by realtors, has seen a major increase in property values due to its close proximity to downtown Boston and gentrification. The "West Side" of South Boston, also known as the "lower end" by lifelong residents, though slower to begin the gentrification process also benefits from the proximity to not only downtown but also the popular South End. Additionally, the West Side is home to the first green residence (Gold LEED certified) in Boston — the Macallen Building which was featured in the movie The Greening of Southie. The City of Boston is investing in the West Side through developments like the ~ mixed use (residential and commercial) building being developed by the Boston Redevelopment Authority on West Broadway.

Harrison Loring House

The 1865 Harrison Loring House is a Second Empire brick mansion located in South Boston. It was used as a private residence until 1913. At that time it was purchased by the Roman Catholic Church to use the space as a convent. The house located at 789 East Broadway was designated a Boston Landmark in 1981. It is associated with Harrison Loring, who owned and operated one of the first South Boston shipyards.

St. Patrick's Day Parade

The history behind the South Boston, Saint Patrick's Day Parade is General Henry Knox brought 55 cannons captured at Fort Ticonderoga. In March, the troops positioned the cannons on Dorchester Heights. They had cut down trees to cannon size, hollowed them out and blackened them over fire to look like cannons. Surprise was just around the corner. On March 17, 1776, orders were given that if you wished to pass through the continental lines, the password was "St. Patrick". The British had seen all the cannons on the Heights and left Boston.

Evacuation Day was declared a holiday in the City of Boston in 1901. In celebration, the city hosted a parade based in South Boston. A monument to the historical event was completed in Dorchester Heights in 1902. Major George F. H. Murray served as Chief Marshall for the parade in 1901. The state of Massachusetts recognized Evacuation Day as a holiday in Suffolk County (but not the rest of the state) in 1938. The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is both a celebration of the Irish-American culture in Boston and the Evacuation Day victory. The City of Boston sponsored the event until 1947, when Mayor James Michael Curley gave authority to the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council.

Politicians and local celebrities have participated in these annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade for years. In 1958 Senator John F. Kennedy rode with Jacqueline Kennedy in the parade. The Kennedy family were well known as participating in this parade. Robert F. Kennedy marched in 1968, Ted and Joan Kennedy also marched in 1970. The N.A.A.C.P entered a float in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in 1964. In the mid-1960s the Harvard’s Irish Society joined the march. Irish nationalists unofficially marched in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1972, Irish Republican Aid Committee members protested violence in Northern Ireland by carrying a coffin draped with the Irish tricolored flag. The Boston chapter of the Irish Northern Aid Commission marched with black armbands and a sign reading "England Get out of Ireland"

The year 1976 marked the 200th anniversary of Evacuation Day and the 75th anniversary of the parade. A reenactment of the 1776 evacuation was incorporated into the parade, with fireworks and period costumes. President George H.W. Bush declared March Irish-American Heritage Month in 1991. The application of the Irish American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, or GLIB, to march in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in 1992, the first of its kind in the history of the parade, was met with a rejection by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council. In recent years, parade organizers have tried to make the event more kid-friendly, by incorporating "family zones" or sober places to watch the parade. The South Boston, St. Patrick’s Parade is listed as the second-largest parade in the country, being viewed by nearly 600,000 to 1 million people every year, in addition to having the entire parade seen on live television.

In the 1990s, South Boston became the focus for a U.S. Supreme Court case on the right of gay and lesbian groups to participate in the Saint Patrick's Day (Evacuation Day) parade. The case was decided in favor of the parade's sponsors when the Supreme Court supported the South Boston Allied War Veterans' right to determine who can participate in their annual St. Patrick's Day parade. In 1996 local Dorchester author Paul Walkowski and Attorney William Connolly detailed the case in their book "From Trial Court to the United States Supreme Court".

Today, the St. Patrick's Day Parade marches from West Broadway to East Broadway, finishing at Farragut Road. Every year, from 10,000 to 20,000 participants join the parade.

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