Daniel Boone was hired in 1775 to cut the Wilderness Road. The road connected Virginia via the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky. The trail was rough and rocky; settlers walked the trail or rode horses. In 1790 the road was improved so that wagons could travel on it. Children can learn more about the Wilderness Road at: Daniel Boone.
Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech in Richmond, Virginia, in 1775. The speech, given without notes, was a rousing call for freedom from Great Britain. Children can read the speech at: Patrick Henry.
Pecan Day marks the day in 1775 when Thomas Jefferson gave George Washington several pecan trees from his own plantings. Some of Washington’s pecan trees are still alive. The only nut native to North America is the pecan.
The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1775. This group was America’s first abolition society. Some of the early members were Thomas Paine, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, and John Greenleaf Whittier. Renamed the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, the group still exists, working for racial justice.
Paul Revere and William Dawes conducted their famous horse ride at 10:00 PM in 1775. They warned their fellow patriots that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. Children could read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s account of the ride, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” at: Midnight Ride. They could learn more at: Revere and Dawes.
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.
The Pennsylvania Evening Post in 1775 became the first newspaper to be published in the United States. Benjamin Towne printed the newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The newspaper closed in 1784.
United States Army was created in 1775 by the second Continental Congress. The next day George Washington became commander of the new army.
Battle of Bunker Hill occurred in 1775. Actually most of the military action took place on nearby Breed’s Hill. Britain won the battle, but they suffered severe casualties. The Patriot forces retreated, but they lost few soldiers. The battle proved to the British that the Patriots were better organized than they thought. Children could learn more at: Bunker Hill.
Olive Branch Petition was signed by representatives from the Second Continental Congress in 1775. It was delivered to King George III as one last try to peacefully resolve differences between the American colonies and Great Britain. Older children could read a copy of the petition at: Olive Branch Petition. Idea: Children could predict what would have happened if the king had not ignored the petition.