comScore What Is Patriots' Day? | Boston Marathon Bombing

Boston Marathon Bombings Happened On Patriots’ Day — What Exactly Does That Celebrate?

If you grew up or live in Massachusetts, you probably know all about Patriots’ Day. But for the rest of the country, the annual holiday may be a bit of a mystery. And, as many news commentators are already speculating, it could be a significant clue into the motives of those behind today’s Boston Marathon bombings.

The civic holiday commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which began the Revolutionary War. It is celebrated on the third Monday of April in Massachusetts, with schools, libraries and some government offices closed for the day. The Boston Marathon, which is the country’s oldest marathon dating back to 1897, is always held on Patriots’ Day, allowing schoolchildren and other workers who have the day off to attend. Aside from the marathon, the day is often marked by Revolutionary War reenactments, in which people dressed as Minutemen recreate the initial battles of the Revolution.

As NBC News reporter Luke Russert pointed out in a tweet earlier today, the final FBI assault on the Waco, Texas compound occurred on Patriots’ Day, April 19th, 1993. The Oklahoma City bombing occurred two years later on April 19th, 1995, though that day being a Wednesday, it was not Patriots’ Day.

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