“The starting point of the Freedom Trail, Boston Common is the oldest park in the country. The park is almost 50 acres in size. Today, Boston Common is the anchor for the Emerald Necklace, a system of connected parks that winds through many of Boston’s neighborhoods. The “Common” has been used for many different purposes throughout its long history. Until 1830, cattle grazed the Common, and until 1817, public hangings took place here. British troops camped on Boston Common prior to the Revolution and left from here to face colonial resistance at Lexington and Concord in April, 1775. Celebrities, including Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John Paul II, and Gloria Steinem (advocate of the feminist revolution), have given speeches at the Common. “
“ Each year, over 8 million men, women and children visit Harvard Square. Visitors come for a variety of reasons; this is a place of history, of books, of ideas, and of learning. It is a place of bookstores and coffee houses, of fine dining and eclectic shopping. It is a place of folk music and old theaters, of Cuban ballet and world-class music, of street-performers and award-winning pizza, of public discourse, and public art. One of the main attractions is Harvard University, and in Harvard Square you will see notable professors, brilliant students and feel the rush of academia all about you. In addition to Harvard, the Square boasts students from other amazing schools in the Greater Boston area. Whatever brings you here, we welcome you and hope you enjoy your stay.”
“Faneuil Hall, also called ‘Quincy Market’, has served as a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1742. Funding was provided by a wealthy merchant, Peter Faneuil, for the construction and local artisan to create the grasshopper weather vane that still perches on the building’s cupola. Inspirational speeches by Samuel Adams and other patriots were given at Faneuil Hall. These oratories became the footstool for America’s desire to obtain independence from the British.
Faneuil Hall was expanded in 1806 by Charles Bulfinch. When Boston became a city the use of Faneuil Hall as a government meeting place came to an end, but it was still regularly used. Today, the first floor is still used as a lively marketplace and the second floor is a meeting hall where many Boston City debates are held. The fourth floor is maintained by the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.”