ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
March 5, 1770
The Boston Massacre Occurs
On this day in 1770, five civilians were shot and killed by British troups in Boston in an incident that has
come to be known as the Boston Massacre.
Even though it is known as the Boston Massacre and was used at the time to rally the citizens against the British
occupation, the fact is, the crowd was threatening the troops, pummeling them with snowballs and taunting them by
In the ensuing trial, John Adams, a lawyer, patriot, and future President, agreed to defend the soldiers and argued
that they had felt threatened. Six were acquitted of the charges and two others were allowed to plea to
manslaughter and were punished by branding on their thumbs.
The Boston Massacre is known to be one of the triggers of the American Revolutionary War.