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Episode Info

Episode Info:

15 years ago, the landmark case Goodridge v. Department of Public Health granted marriage rights to same-sex couples in Massachusetts. The November 18, 2003, decision was the first by a U.S. state’s highest court to find that same-sex couples had the right to marry, and it was grounded in the language of equal justice that John Adams wrote into our state constitution. Despite numerous attempts to delay the ruling, and to reverse it, the first marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples on May 17, 2004.

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Love is Love

WFNX carried a live broadcast from Cambridge city hall on the evening of March 16, 2004, as the nation’s first legal same-sex marriages were performed in front of jubilant crowds.

Video from the Human Rights Campaign of some of the couples and supporters at Cambridge City Hall.

Boston Book Club

Johnny Tremain is a work of historical fiction by Esther Forbes, intended for teen-aged readers, that is set in Boston prior to and during the outbreak of the American Revolution. The story begins on July 23, 1773, in the Boston silversmith shop of elderly Ephraim Lapham, where Johnny is a promising 14-year-old apprentice. It is understood that someday he will marry Mr. Lapham’s granddaughter Cilla to keep the shop within the Lapham family. The shop soon receives a challenging and urgent order from wealthy merchant John Hancock to make a silver dish to replace one that Mr. Lapham fashioned decades before. While preparing Hancock’s order, Johnny’s hand is badly burned. With a hand crippled beyond use, he can no longer be a silversmith and he leaves the shop.

Johnny settles into a job delivering a weekly newspaper, the Boston Observer. The Observer is a Whig publication, and Johnny is introduced to the larger world of pre-revolutionary Boston politics by his new friend and mentor Rab Silsbee, an older boy working for the paper.

As months go by and tension between Whigs and Tories rises, Johnny becomes a dedicated Whig himself. Johnny and Rab take part in the Boston Tea Party and, as I am sure our listeners know, Britain sends an army to occupy Boston and closes Boston’s port in retaliation

Johnny acts as a spy for the Sons of Liberty when, in addition to his newspaper deliveries, he is paid by British officers to carry their letters to outlying towns. He becomes a trusted member working with prominent Whig leaders John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and Doctor Joseph Warren. The novel reaches its climax in April 1775 with the outbreak and immediate aftermath of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. But of course, that’s really just the beginning…

Upcoming Event

On May 29 from 5 to 6 pm, Old South Meeting House will be hosting an open house in celebration of preservation month. The description on Old South’s website tells us:

Join Old South Meeting House staff and neighbors for light refreshments, a short lecture at 5:15 on the 1729 historic site’s fascinating historic preservation story, and an opportunity to explore the permanent exhibition, Voices of Protest, at your leisure. Learn why we have an 18th-century horseshoe in our permanent exhibits, how the Meeting House is indebted to a fire engine from New Hampshire, how Louisa May Alcott and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow supported the Meeting Houses preservation in the late 1800s, why William Lloyd Garrison didn’t … and how this building’s preservation story continues as it approaches its 300th birthday!

Advanced registration is not required, and admission is free thanks to funding from the Lowell Institute.

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