On April 6, 1917, the United States entered World War 1. In response, a German submarine tank sank a ship carrying supplies from Boston to Liverpool. The next day, another German sub sunk fishing boats near Nantucket. Other suspicious events followed. Paranoia ensued.
Meanwhile, as soldiers prepared for war, athletes prepared for the April 19 Boston Marathon. Some people questioned the wisdom of holding the event. Critics disagreed, reminding detractors of the military roots of the race. They argued that the Greek soldier who ran from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of victory, inspired the race.
Despite fear, between 150,000 and 500,000 people showed up for the event. This year, history repeats itself, as 36,000 runners and an estimated one million spectators will take part in the 2014 Boston Marathon. This is Boston, and you can’t stop us on the road to freedom!
The Boston Public Library Exhibit
Although we soldier on, we have not forgotten the victims of last year’s tragedy. The Boston Public Library is holding an exhibit titled “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial. ” It displays thousands of items left in downtown Boston. Examples include running shoes, supportive messages, running bibs and “Boston Strong” memorabilia.
Photo Credit: GWP Photography via Compfight cc
The Boston Marathon Neighborhoods
Boston.com has an interactive map of the marathon neighborhoods. We’ve added our own two cents.
1. Hopkinton: The Marathon starts here. A livable place, which often wins “best of” awards. Some people call it a “Leave it to Beaver” type area. We think that’s funny.
2. Ashland: Ashland is called the ‘Clock Town’ because of its hometown boy, Henry E. Warren, who invented the electric clock. That’s great, but it’s also one of the few places that still has an ice cream parlor and a miniature golf course.
3. Framingham: An H.H. Richardson-designed train station landmarks Framingham Center. In 1907, one of the trains switched tracks and temporarily interrupted the Marathon. OOPS! In 2012, Framingham ranked # 36 on ‘Best Places to Live in US’ by CNN Money Magazine.
4. Natick: We bet you didn’t know that Natick was home to the first baseball manufacturing plant. In 1988, the plant turned into the Baseball Factory Condominiums.
5. Wellesley: One of the highlights of the Marathon course is the ‘Screech Tunnel,’ a continuous wall of sound created by students and faculty of Wellesley College. Nonetheless, Forbes ranks Wellesley as the second-best educated small town in the United States.
6. Newton: Marathon runners hate it because it’s home to the infamous Heartbreak Hill, but in 2010, CNN Money called Newton the third best place to live in the United States.
7. Brookline: Upscale , lovely, right next to Boston, and home to Trader Joe’s.
8. Copley Square: Runners complete the marathon in Boston’s trendiest neighborhood.