The Nation: A Different Cup of Tea

At every subway stop and elevator bank, parchment broadsides carried the message: "Citizens of Boston, be prepared to make history." They were summoned to a re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party — the opening act of America's bicentennial celebration.

Despite sleet and freezing drizzle, some 10,000 spectators watched at Griffin's Wharf while history buffs crept aboard the 97-ft. brigantine Beaver II, a replica of one of the three ships sacked in 1773. Like the 18th century patriots, the raiders masqueraded as Indians.

They smashed wooden tea chests and threw them into the harbor.

The re-enactment was a curious blend of 18th and late 20th...

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