Pulling down statues? It’s a tradition that dates back to U.S. independence
Enthusiasm for the American Revolution led colonists to burn, disfigure, and deface any symbol of Britain and its hated king.
Fireworks, bands, and cookouts are essential ingredients of any Fourth of July celebration. What’s usually not on the menu is toppling statues, ripping down signs, or burning portraits. But in the days following the new nation’s declaration of independence, Americans went on a frenzy of destruction that makes today’s attacks on Confederate and other symbols of white supremacy pale by comparison.
The most dramatic act took place in New York City on July 9, 1776. Early that evening, General George Washington and his troops, along with hundreds of citizens, crowded into what is now City Hall Park to hear a reading of the document that had just arrived from Philadelphia. The enthusiastic throng then headed for Broadway and the