Battles of Lexington and Concord, in 1775, marked the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. About 700 British troops were marching toward Lexington and Concord to destroy military supplies. Approximately 70 Minutemen met the redcoats in Lexington. Records do not indicate clearly who fired the first shot, but eight Minutemen died. Ten more Minutemen were injured. One British soldier was wounded. The British continued on to Concord and then turned back toward Boston. Along the way, patriots shot at the redcoats. British casualties came to 250, and American casualties numbered 90.
USS Constitution began its maiden voyage in 1798. Nicknamed Old Ironsides, the three-masted, wooden ship was named by President George Washington. She was most active in the War of 1812, and in 1907 she became a museum. Today she is the world’s oldest active vessel. Berthed in the Charlestown Naval Yard in Boston, Massachusetts, she sports a crew of 60 and provides historical perspectives and tours for visitors. Children can learn more at: http://www.nps.gov/bost/historyculture/ussconst.htm.
Camel first appeared in the United States in Boston in 1721. It stood seven feet high and twelve feet long.
Iron lung was used for the first time in 1928 in a Boston hospital. During the 1940’s and 1950’s, when polio outbreaks were at their worst, some children with polio could not breathe on their own. They were put into iron lungs, and the apparatus used negative pressure to help them breathe. Over 1,200 people needed to use an iron lung. In 1954 mass polio inoculations began to take place. Fewer and fewer people contracted polio, and the need for iron lungs decreased. Today the United States is just about polio free. Also, newer inventions help people breathe easier and with more mobility. The iron lung is seldom used today.