After settling in to our extremely Bostonesque weatherboard abode last night, we set out early in the morning to check out the world’s most prestigious university - Harvard. The campus itself was surprisingly unpretentious, but while being shown around by a senior we did come across a couple of highlights: the library, the largest private collection in the world, extending a ridiculous distance underground; the large secular Civil War memorial (Confederate soldiers did not get a guernsey; and the statue of John Harvard*, the second-most visited and third most photographed statue in the US.**
We then set out on the Freedom Trail, a walking tour through Boston that hits a whole bunch of historical highlights that traces the origins of the American Revolution. From the Boston Common to the oldest pub in the US to the Bunker Hill Memorial to the USS Constitution, we caught up on our Revolutionary history, including visiting the graves of Patriots like James Otis, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, as well as hanging our in the square where the Declaration of Independence was first read to the public.
Having gotten our fill of dusty history, we decided to get a little more contemporary and headed the Thirsty Scholar, a pub just near Harvard. It’s most famous for being the location for one of the opening scenes in The Social Network - while we didn’t see Mark hanging around, we did have a few beers both there and at popular Harvard hangout John Harvard’s before heading back home for the night.
* Though it should be noted that no one actually knows what John Harvard looked like, due to a fire that destroyed all paintings of him.
** Most visited: Lincoln Memorial, John Harvard, Statue of Liberty. Most photographed: Statue of Liberty, Lincoln Memorial, John Harvard. Yes, we thought that was stretching it as far as a statistic as well.
Freedom Fact: The Declaration of Independence was signed about 8 years before the war with Britain officially ended, and had the United States lost the war, all of its signers would have been tried, and likey hung, for treason, including 2 future presidents.