Today is the day that the Boston Massacre took place in 1770. Some people think the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre are the same thing. They both were the result of the British taxing the colonies, but they’re completely separate events.

The Boston Massacre happened when a small group of angry citizens started throwing rocks and snowballs at the lone soldier guarding Boston’s Custom House on King Street.

That soldier called for reinforcements and eight other British soldiers showed up with bayonets on their muskets demanding the crowd disperse. The crowd got larger and they began shouting insults at the soldiers calling them “bloody back rascals” and “lobster scoundrels” and daring them to shoot, shouting “fire, fire”.

Then it got really nasty when somebody in the crowd punched one of the soldiers, who slipped and fell and as he did his gun went off. The other soldiers then fired their guns and when it was over three in the crowd were dead and two more died later.

Newspapers across the colonies began calling it a massacre when it probably was more self defense. The soldiers were charged with murder, but only two of them were convicted of manslaughter and dismissed from the British Army.

John Adams, who later became president was the defense lawyer for the British soldiers. He said it was more important that innocence be protected than guilt be punished.