This December 16, 2023, the United States will come together to commemorate a pivotal moment in American history – the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. This iconic event, which took place in 1773, not only changed the course of history but also laid the foundation for the principles of civic engagement, representation, protest, and commemoration that are integral to our democracy today. As we celebrate this historic milestone, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is launching an exciting initiative to engage students from across the nation and encourage them to reflect on the significance of the Boston Tea Party in their lives.
Connecting Past to Present: Themes of Civic Engagement, Representation, Protest, and Commemoration
The Boston Tea Party was more than just an act of defiance; it was a testament to the power of civic engagement. In the spirit of this theme, students are invited to participate in acts of civic engagement or service and share their experiences. This could be volunteering in their communities, organizing events, or engaging in activities that make a positive impact.
Representation is a fundamental concept associated with the Boston Tea Party. In the lead-up to the event, colonists were subjected to taxation without representation, which sparked their resistance. Students are encouraged to reflect on the importance of representation in government today, whether at the local, state, or national level, and share their personal connections to the concept.
Protest has been a catalyst for change throughout history, and the Boston Tea Party remains one of the most famous protests in the world. Students are invited to explore the concept of protest and its relevance in both historical and contemporary contexts. How do they view the power of protest in shaping society and bringing about change?
Commemoration allows us to remember and honor the past. While the Boston Tea Party initially went largely unnoticed, it has since become a symbol of American resistance. Students are encouraged to create their own commemorations through artistic works, essays, digital media, or videos that convey the historical significance of the event.
Showcasing Student Work
All student projects will be featured on a dedicated website, as well as on social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook (@bostonteaparty250), and Twitter (@BOSTeaParty250). This platform provides students with the opportunity to share their thoughts and creativity with a broader audience and become part of a nationwide celebration of history.
How to Submit Student Work
Students and schools can submit their creative projects via www.december16.org/celebrating-history-through-art. By doing so, they grant permission for their work to be shared on the official website and associated social media channels. Submissions will remain open throughout the 2023/2024 school year, allowing for a continuous celebration of the Boston Tea Party’s legacy.
Other Ways to Participate in the 250th Anniversary Celebration
As part of the celebration, there is a tea donation drive. Schools and students from across the United States can send loose-leaf tea to Boston, where it will be thrown into Boston Harbor as part of the reenactment. This symbolic act connects us to the past and reaffirms our commitment to the principles that guided the Boston Tea Party.
Save the Date: 250th Boston Tea Party Anniversary LIVE Reenactment
The highlight of the 250th-anniversary year will be a grand-scale, live reenactment of the Boston Tea Party on Saturday, December 16, 2023. Hundreds of reenactors will bring history to life at the historic Old South Meeting House and Faneuil Hall. The event will culminate with a public procession to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, where loose tea will be destroyed in a dramatic and historically accurate reenactment.