Evacuation Day: Massachusetts

Celebrating the departure of British forces

by Liz Olson

A state holiday celebrated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, on March 17 each year, Evacuation Day commemorates the day British forces were forced out of Boston during the Revolutionary War. March 17, 1776, marked General Washington’s first major victory in the Revolutionary War, and the end of an 11-month siege on Boston by the British military. The victory was a much-needed morale boost for the American Continental Army.

In 1901, on the 125th anniversary of Washington’s victory, the Mayor of Boston proclaimed Evacuation Day an official state holiday. Schools and government offices close each year on March 17, or the following Monday if the holidays falls on a weekend.


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