BOSTON -- Boston is marking the 250th anniversary of a massacre that helped spark the Revolutionary War.
The Daughters of the American Revolution is hosting a public tribute Thursday at the grave of the five victims of the fateful conflict with British soldiers on March 5, 1770.
The morning service in downtown Boston's historic Old Granary Burial Ground will include a musket salute and a wreath-laying.
The commemoration is the first of a number expected to take place across the country in the coming years to mark the 250th anniversary of America's war for independence, according to the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Black and Native American groups were also expected to mark the anniversary with a “death procession protest” Thursday afternoon from the massacre site to Faneuil Hall.
The massacre began when a mob attacked a British soldier who was among the troops occupying the city to enforce new tax laws on the American colonies.
British soldiers opened fire on the downtown crowd, killing five men, including Crispus Attucks, who was of African American and Native American descent and was the first person to die in the massacre.
The bloody street brawl stoked anti-British sentiment throughout the colonies.
The killings took place years before the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which are considered the first military engagements of the Revolutionary War.