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The War for AmericaThe War for America

The Battle of Lexington, 19 April 1775

A shot heard around the world

The Battle of Lexington on 19 April 1775, the famous ‘shot heard round the world,’ marked the start of the American War of Independence (1775-83). This momentous event has taken on an almost mythical quality in the American consciousness.

Here we take a closer look at the campaign and separate the facts from the fiction. How many of us know, for example, that the war expanded far beyond North America or that thousands of Native Americans and African-Americans fought on both sides of the conflict?

The Battle of Lexington, 19 April 1775.
Oil on canvas by William Barns Wollen (1857-1936), 1910.

NAM. 1959-11-302