Champions of Reading: Monuments of Boston’s Champions

Happy summer, and happy start of summer reading! Our theme this year (for children, teens, and adults) is "Champions of Reading". You can learn more about the Boston Public Library's summer reading program at bpl.org/summer. There are a lot of fun activities and some very cool prizes, so I hope you'll check it out!

If you're taking part in the adult summer reading challenge, one of the many ways you can participate is by visiting a monument of one of Boston's champions. Planning on heading to Fenway Park or The Garden this summer? You can definitely tick off that box and call it a day! If you're interested in going a little deeper into Boston's history, though, read on... 

First of all, most visitors and residents of Boston will at some point or another take a walk on the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is a series of historic sites related to the Revolutionary War, such as Paul Revere's house, the site of the Boston Massacre, and the Old South Meeting House. If you're interested in learning about Boston's contributions to American independence, it's a must-see. 

Less well-known but still relevant are the statues that decorate the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. If you take a stroll down the well-shaded park that connects the Public Garden with the Fens, you'll pass by memorials at each intersection. Don't miss the Boston Women's Memorial, which is dedicated to Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone, and Phillis Wheatley. The Boston Women's Heritage Trail also designed a Ladies Walk to go with the memorial. Want more women's history? There are neighborhood-based self-guided and student-designed tours, too. Interested in African American history? The National Parks Service offers a Black Heritage Trail

Boston's history contains too many champions (and the city contains too many memorials) for one blog post to mention them all. Hopefully, this will give you a starting point to think about potential visits to monuments that will be meaningful to you. Consider coming down to the library! Our famous lions at the Central Library in Copley Square celebrate the memory of the 2nd and 20th Massachusetts volunteer infantry regiments, who fought for the Union in the Civil War.

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