March 5 - 1770 - The Boston Massacre

In terms of the actual events, describing the Boston Massacre as a "massacre" is a bit over the top, as most people pretty much agreed that a large protest got out of hand and that British troops overreacted by firing into a crowd. The "massacre" did see five people shot and killed, but it was even hard to make the claim that the British soldiers meant to kill anyone. Yet the publicity and propaganda around the event made both the British Army and the colonists play up the fault of the other side. This played into already mounting tensions that had begun with a series of taxes put on the colonies by the British Parliament in the 1760s. So when a protest gathered after the actions of a British private towards a young apprentice, the sides were ready to react angrily. In the aftermath of the Boston Massacre, though, tensions largely settled down. Notable colonial agitator John Adams defended Thomas Preston, the leader of the troops, and actually got him acquitted. Parliament even rolled back some of the problematic taxes. The idea that the Boston Massacre led to the American Revolution only makes sense years later.

William Floyd