Self-Guided Tour # 4: Take a Quick Tour Through Our Political Movements on the Back of a Bike
“All politics are local,” said Tip O’Neill, Cambridge resident and speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1986. Since its inception by a group defined by religious and political extremism, Cambridge has been the focus of people strongly held sentences. The city played a central role in the American Revolution and the abolitionist movement before being named the “People’s Republic” for its role in the anti-war, civil rights, tenant rights, gay rights, sustainable development and environmental movements. Pedaling in the People’s Republic will take participants on a tour of past political activity from the Revolution to the popular movements of the 20th century.
Our tour takes a tour of Cambridge history. We start from Cambridge Common and pass places linked to the 19th century No-License movement on our way to Barry’s Corner in North Cambridge. We stop at the former 18th century free African American community of Lewisville near the Radcliffe Quad and visit a site near Central Square associated with the anti-war movement of the 1960s. We end, historically, where we started: at Lechmere Square in East Cambridge, named after a loyalist who fled the country at the start of the Revolution. We hope you enjoy this Cambridge time and city tour!
To download the full program of the Self-Guided Tour “Pedaling in the People’s Republic: A History of Political Activism in Cambridge”, visit the Cambridge Historical Society website. This tour was made possible by the generous support of the Cambridge Bicycle Committee.
About the Cambridge Historical Society
We engage with our city to explore how the past influences the present to shape a better future. We strive to be Cambridge’s most relevant and responsive historical voice. We do this by recognizing that everyone in our city knows something about the history of Cambridge and that their knowledge is important. We help people share their stories – and weave their knowledge – by giving them the voice, the microphone, the platform. We illuminate where historical perspectives are needed. We listen to our community. We live by the ideal that the story belongs to everyone.
Our theme for 2021 is “How is Cambridge Recovering?” Make history with us at cambridgehistory.org.
Marieke Van Damme is Executive Director of the Cambridge Historical Society.