Today marks the 240th anniversary of what has come to be known as the Boston Tea Party, December 16, 1773. We had the good fortune of taking our home school to the new living history museum that has been built in Boston Harbor to commemorate the historic event (free to all on this historic day). The old museum was closed in 2001 and later suffered a fire in 2007. But the new living history museum that has been built in its place is better than ever before.

What makes the experience so engaging are the actors who portray the event as if they were in the present, complete with audience members acting out designated roles and lines from people who lived at that time and were effected by the unjust taxation without representation. The experience is authentic right down to the re-enactors referring to cameras as “instant portrait makers”. Participants protest the unfair policies, throw tea into the harbor, and watch a very dramatic depiction of the Revolutionary War that the Tea Party eventually led to.

I cannot think of a single thing to add to the program. My only thought as we all stared adoringly at the Robinson Half Chest, one of the original chests of tea to survive the 1773 protest, was why we don’t have more relics of our country’s spiritual heritage. This political artifact is treated with the same kind of reverence we usually afford to holy things: behind a glass case, no additional photography, perimeter around the viewing area, etc. I wish we had the same kind of display here in Massachusetts for the first Bible printed in the New World which was not even in English!

I highly recommend this museum for families coming to Boston, even if you have to pay the usual high price of admission.