BOSTON (CBS) – It was a pivotal protest in Boston that galvanized colonists against British rule, and would eventually lead to an independent America. Saturday is the reenactment of the Boston Tea Party, and this year there’s a tea “twist” to go along with it.
People from around the country sent in tea that will be part of the anniversary, including a local woman with an ancestor who was there.
It happened December 16, 1773. About 100 colonists dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest a British tea tax. They’ll do it again on Saturday to commemorate the 244th anniversary of that act of colonial defiance.
“There is nothing more Boston than the Boston Tea Party, and this event changed the history of the world forever,” says Shawn Ford the Executive Director of the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum on Congress St. “If this event did not happen we could still be British.”
The colonists called themselves the Sons of Liberty. Their names are inscribed at the Boston memorial, including a patriot named William Hendley. “William Hendley was my great, great, great, great grandfather,” says Joanne Hulbert from Holliston. “Perhaps I come from a long line of protesters and resisters.”
This is the first time that people were invited to send tea to the museum for the reenactment. Joanne did it. “It’s a connection to the past,” she says.
“We received over 200 packages, envelopes, boxes of all sizes, and that tea is going to be dumped into Boston Harbor,” Ford says.
And perhaps there’s still a lesson for us, today. “They took the time, the effort and the risk to protest, and so should we when we see something that isn’t right in our minds,” Joanne says.
In 1773 the colonists dumped about 90,000 pounds of tea into the harbor. In today’s values, that’s nearly $2,000,000 worth.
For information about the reenactment visit: www.december16.org/