Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why Do Boston School Children Have a St. Patrick's Day Holiday?

I used to stump my students with this question when I taught fourth graders. They came up with some very creative answers to imagine why St. Patrick's Day would be a day off for their fellow students in Boston. Why would they be in school and Boston children have the day off?

It was a trick question. While the media focuses on the St. Patrick's Day events in Boston, it is not the official reason students have the day off from school. March 17 is Evacuation Day in Boston. Tell kids that and they jump off into another whole train of thought as to what would cause Boston to be evacuated.

Start nudging children towards history and you get them closer to the mark. Evacuation day is celebrated as the day British troops left Boston during the American Revolution.

I always find it a fun challenge to find out how many people know about the paid holiday and its origins.


  1. I'll be darned. I sure didn't know that. I learned something new today!

  2. I learned something new today. I worked on some St. Patrick's day activities with my kids yesterday so we learned a lot of interesting facts. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love trivia. And I've learned something new today - this is why I read blogs. It broadens my horizons and I meet groovy, fellow bloggers. ;-)

  4. You learn something new everyday. Here in Cleveland the St. Pat's Day Parade is the biggest one of the year. Everyone's Irish for a day.

  5. Interesting. I assumed it was because Boston has one of the largest Irish populations in the US. The parade and celebration is so large, kids were skipping school so they just gave people the day off. LOL