Today In History: Boston Latin School Is Founded

| April 23, 2018

180423_News_219x365Can you imagine several centuries back to the creation of our nation’s very first public school — the space, students, teachers, textbooks, courses of study, typical day? A revolutionary concept for Puritan times? If you walk the Freedom Trail, you might check out the mosaic pavement plaque just beyond King’s Chapel commemorating the original site of Boston Latin School which offered free education to boys, rich or poor. Looking back in history you might be awed, appreciative, reflective of the long journey of government-funded K-12 education — how it all started, why it developed the way it did, and cognizant of the factors needing to shape it in decades, even centuries, to come.

The oldest and first public school in America, Boston Latin School, originally called the South Grammar School, was founded on April 23rd, 1635 with a curriculum based on religion, Latin, and classic literature. Modeled after the Boston Grammar School in Lincolnshire, England, Boston Latin School drew students from Boston’s elite – the “Brahim” — as well as boys from other states. Early attendees included John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Treat Paine, and William Hooper. Today Boston Latin School is part of the Boston public school system and is s feeder for Harvard University, as well as other prestigious institutions of higher education.

The following articles about the landmark case are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

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