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Bennington Battle Day in the United States

Bennington Battle Day is a state holiday in Vermont to honor of the Battle of Bennington, which took place during the Revolutionary War in north America in 1777. The day is usually celebrated annually on August 16. Any legal holiday that falls on a Saturday in Vermont is celebrated the preceding Friday.

Is Bennington Battle Day a Public Holiday?

Bennington Battle Day is a public holiday in Vermont, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

View looking up at the Bennington Monument in Vermont.

©iStockphoto.com/Sarahskennedy

What Do People Do?

For many citizens in Vermont, Bennington Battle Day is a time to remember the Battle of Bennington, a battle that lead to the turning point in the Revolutionary War in the 18th century. Each year, locals and visitors gather to observe the Bennington Battle Day celebrations in Bennington, Vermont.

Visitors and locals alike can ride an elevator to the top of the Bennington Monument for panoramic views of the valleys and the hills of Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. The stone monument, which is about 306 feet (about 93.3 meters) above the streets of Bennington, marks the site of a critical supply depot during the Revolutionary War.

Public Life

Bennington Battle Day is a state holiday so state government offices are closed in Vermont. Many state historic sites in Vermont are open and free to the public on August 16. Transit services, such as the Green Mountain Express bus service, operate during this holiday. However people planning to use transit services on this day can check with local transit service providers in Vermont prior to travelling on this day.

Background

During the Revolutionary War in North America, Colonel Seth Warner and 350 of his Green Mountain Boys, a group of soldiers from Vermont, played a vital role in defeating the British forces that came to capture the American supply depot at Bennington, a town in southern Vermont near the New York border.

The anniversary of the fighting that took place along the Walloomsac River on August 16, 1777, is a legal holiday in Vermont, and a tower that is about 306 feet (about 93.3 meters) high has been erected in to town of old Bennington, about two miles (about 3.2 kilometers) west of Bennington proper. A statue of Seth Warner stands nearby. Across the state border in New York’s Rensselaer County, the Bennington Battlefield State Park includes the site where the heaviest fighting took place.

The Battle of Bennington is credited by many historians as the first victory for the United States. It was the first of a string of victories that finally forced the surrender of the British, and gave what is now known as the United States of America its heritage of independence and freedom.

Symbols

One of the most memorable icons in Vermont is a monument that towers at about 306 feet (about 93.3 meters) and symbolizes Bennington Battle Day. The limestone monument was recently vandalized with red spray paint graffiti. Local officials say it was most likely the first time the obelisk was vandalized since it was built in 1889.

Bennington Battle Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010MonAug 16Bennington Battle DayState holidayVermont
2011TueAug 16Bennington Battle DayState holidayVermont
2012ThuAug 16Bennington Battle DayState holidayVermont
2013FriAug 16Bennington Battle DayState holidayVermont
2014FriAug 15Bennington Battle Day observedState holidayVermont
2014SatAug 16Bennington Battle DayState holidayVermont
2015SunAug 16Bennington Battle DayState holidayVermont
2015MonAug 17Bennington Battle Day observedState holidayVermont
2016TueAug 16Bennington Battle DayState holidayVermont
2017WedAug 16Bennington Battle DayState holidayVermont
2018ThuAug 16Bennington Battle DayState holidayVermont
2019FriAug 16Bennington Battle DayState holidayVermont
2020SunAug 16Bennington Battle DayState holidayVermont
2020MonAug 17Bennington Battle Day observedState holidayVermont

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