#421 Evacuation Day: Forgotten Holiday of the American Revolution

NOV 22, 202364 MIN
The Bowery Boys: New York City History

#421 Evacuation Day: Forgotten Holiday of the American Revolution

NOV 22, 202364 MIN


For decades New Yorkers celebrated Evacuation Day every November 25, a holiday marking the 1783 departure of British forces from the city they had occupied for several years during the Revolutionary War.

The events of that departure -- that evacuation -- inspired annual celebrations of patriotism, unity, and a bit of rowdiness. Evacuation Day was honored well until the late 19th century. But then, gradually, the party sort of petered out.....

Of course, Americans may know late November for another historically themed holiday – Thanksgiving, a New England-oriented celebration that eventually took the place of Evacuation Day on the American calendar. But we are here to tell you listener – you should celebrate both!

Greg and Tom tell the story of the British's final years in their former colonies, now in victory known as the United States, and their final moments within New York City, their last remaining haven. The city was in shambles and the gradual handover was truly messy.

And then, on November 25, 1783, George Washington rode into town, basically traveling from tavern to tavern on his way down to the newly freed city. The Bowery Boys chart his course (down the Bowery of course) and make note of a few unusual events -- wild parties, angry women with brooms, and one very lucky tailor.

PLUS: Where and how you can celebrate Evacuation Day today. 

Other Bowery Boys episodes to check out when you're done with this one:

-- New York City During the Revolutionary War
-- The Revolutionary Tavern of Samuel Fraunces
-- The Great Fire of 1776
-- The Brooklyn Navy Yard and Vinegar Hill