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VIDEO: Happy Birthday, Boston Light

Overlooking Boston Harbor for three centuries, Boston Light is an iconic piece of American history.

It was built in 1716, and during its first 60 years the light guided ships into the harbor, bringing trade and profit to city residents. The British believed they were entitled to some of that wealth, and a well-known series of events led to not only the Boston Tea Party, but also the American Revolution.

American patriots twice set fire to Boston Light. British troops blew it up in June 1776 as they retreated from Boston. Massachusetts rebuilt it in 1783.

We found an interesting clip from CBS News about the light’s birthday. 

Boston Light is visible for 27 nautical miles, is 89 feet tall and uses the original Fresnel lens from 1859 to flash every 10 seconds.

The light is still manned. Civilian keeper Sally Snowman, who was hired by the Coast Guard in 2003, is 70th in a line of keepers and the first woman. She oversees 90 volunteers who offer tours of the light and island.

Guided tours are available between June and October. To learn more, visit the Boston Harbor Island website here.