Lexington, Massachusetts

Lexington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, famous for being the site of the first shot of the American Revolutionary War, in the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775, as the “Shot heard ’round the world,” after news spread about the revolution.

Lexington was first settled around 1642 as part of Cambridge, Massachusetts. What is now Lexington was then incorporated as a parish, called Cambridge Farms, in 1691. Lexington was incorporated as a separate town in 1713. Lexington has always had a bustling downtown area, which continues to the present day. Lexington began to prosper, in part because of its proximity to Boston, and in part because of having a rail line (originally the Lexington and West Cambridge Railroad, later the Boston and Maine Railroad) offering service to its citizens and businesses, since 1846.

On April 19, 1775, Lexington was the location of the first battle of the American Revolutionary War. A British military patrol conducted a forced march on Lexington and Concord, based on information from an informant that there was a large supply of weapons and gunpowder in the area. A force of Minutemen stood on Lexington Green to fight off the British. Every year, on the third Monday of April, the town observes Patriots’ Day. Events begin with Paul Revere’s Ride, with a special re-enactment of the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

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