The Bennington Battle Monument

On ImageAugust 16, Vermont celebrates a unique holiday: Bennington Battle Day. The holiday marks an important American victory during the Revolutionary War, when American forces prevented the British from seizing desperately needed supplies stored in Bennington.

In 1876,  the Bennington Battle Monument Association was established to create a memorial  at the location of the storehouse.  The Bennington Banner frequently reported on the monument’s progress from 1887, when the cornerstone was laid, until 1889, when the capstone was put in place. The November 25, 1889 issue devoted six columns to an account of the capstone installation and a description of the 306-foot dolomite obelisk, “a fitting memorial of the stirring revolutionary event it commemorates.”

The monument was formally dedicated in August 1891, when Vermont celebrated the centennial of statehood. The paper issued a special daily edition during the week-long extravaganza, the Daily Banner. The paper announced the special edition the week before the event, and promised that it would be an accurate and comprehensive description of the grandest historical celebration ever witnessed in the state. The announcement urged every true Vermonter–wherever they lived–to buy the Daily Banner, read it, and preserve it.

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