What Is Patriots’ Day? 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Patriots’ Day takes place on the third Monday of April to remember the first battles of the American Revolution.


Patriot’s Day takes place on the third Monday of April to remember the first two battles of the American Revolution fought in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775. It’s observed as a state holiday in Massachusetts, Maine and Wisconsin.

The Boston Marathon also takes place on Patriots’ Day and Mark Wahlberg’s next film is called Patriots Day, which is about the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

Here’s what you need to know.


1. Patriots’ Day Commemorates the First Battles of the American Revolution

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Parades and reenactments celebrate Patriots’ Day at Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, Massachusetts. (National Park Service)

Patriots’ Day falls on the third Monday in April. It was traditionally observed on April 19, which is when the first battles of the American Revolution were fought in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, in 1775. The day of observance was changed in 1969.

Patriots’ Day 2016 marks the 241st anniversary of the battles. The entire weekend is filled with parades, reenactments and commemorative ceremonies in Lexington and Concord as well as the Minute Man National Historical Park, according to the National Park Service.


2. The Boston Marathon Is Always Held on Patriots’ Day

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The Boston Marathon is run every year on Patriots’ Day. (Getty)

The Boston Marathon began in 1897 and has always been held on Patriot’s Day. Before it moved to the third Monday in April, the race was ran on whatever day April 19 fell on. The marathon is organized by the Boston Athletic Association.

The 26-mile trek begins on Main Street in the nearby town of Hopkinton, Massachusetts and ends in Copley Square in Boston. Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya set the record for the fastest time in 2011, running the marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 2 seconds.

The Boston Red Sox also play a home game on Patriots’ Day. The game starts much earlier than usual day games with first pitch at 11:05 a.m. Following the game, fans stream into Kenmore Square to cheer on the passing runners.


3. Kids Get School Off in Three States

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Students take part in the celebration at the Minute Man National Historical Park on Patriots’ Day.

Patriots’ Day is observed as a state holiday in Massachusetts and Maine (where its spelled Patriot’s Day), which was a part of Massachusetts until it joined the Union in 1820. It creates a three-day weekend for residents in those states and kicks off a week-long vacation for students in public and private schools. The day is also observed as a holiday by most public and private colleges in Massachusetts and Maine.

Wisconsin also celebrates Patriots’ Day with a public school observance day. Residents of Florida also celebrate the day, but it’s not treated as a public holiday.


4. It’s Not to Be Confused With Patriot Day

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Patriot Day was first observed on September 11, 2002 in honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and on United Airlines Flight 93.

Patriot Day is observed every year on September 11 in remembrance of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. A bill for a national day of mourning was introduced by the House of Representatives on Oct. 25, 2001. It was passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate and signed into law on December 18, 2001 by President George W. Bush.

The first Patriot Day was observed on September 11, 2002. Flags are raised to half-staff on the White House and all U.S. government buildings at home and abroad. A moment of silence is also recognized at 8:46 a.m. EST when the first plane hit the North Tower in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001.

Patriot Day is not a federal holiday.


5. The ‘Patriots Day’ Movie Is About the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing

Mark Wahlberg produces and stars in the upcoming film, Patriots Day, about the bombings that took place during the 2013 Boston Marathon and the massive terrorist manhunt that immediately followed. Peter Berg is directing Matt Charman’s script which is based on the book, Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge, as well as material from 60 Minutes, according to Deadline.

Wahlberg will star as Sgt. Tommy Saunders of the Boston Police Department (based on a composite of BPD personnel). The film also stars John Goodman as the real-life Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, J.K. Simmons as real-life Watertown PD Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese and Kevin Bacon as the FBI Special Agent in Charge, Richard DesLauriers.