On this day in 1723, Christ Church in Boston, commonly known as Old North Church, opened its doors. Timothy Cutler, the former rector of Yale College and first American-born clergyman to hold a doctorate, served as the church’s first rector.
Though Boston is known for its Puritan past and Christ Church is known for its role in the American Revolution, the church was actually a congregation of the Church of England. As the Anglican rector of Christ Church, Cutler stood against Massachusetts’ Puritan dominated government. He advocated for the emancipation of Anglicans from the Puritan church tax and started a library of Anglican books in Christ Church.
Half a century after its founding, revolutionaries hung lanterns in the church’s steeple to warn local militias that British troops were on the move to confiscate their weapons stores. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s popular poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride” commemorated this event and ensured that that the church would be fixed in the national memory of the American Revolution.
This photograph of the church was taken during Boston’s Bicentennial Celebration of the American Revolution.
Boston 200 records, Collection 0279.001, Photographs, Boston City Archives, Boston
The Old Anglican Church of Tulit’a, Northwest Territories. This church is an official historic site because it was built in 1880 and is one of the oldest standing buildings in the Northwest Territories. Apparently there is a prophecy that when the bell falls the end of time is near.