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10,000 Voices Resound: Boston's Woodstock, 150 Years On

Woodstock took place fifty years ago this summer. Hundreds of thousands of music lovers showed up to celebrate peace and music, causing traffic jams never before experienced in America. It was a badge of honor to have been there those three days. As the warm and lazy summer days approach, I read about the anticipation of recreating this historical event in August 2019. Those who were there want to relive what was arguably the greatest music event in history.

But one hundred years before Woodstock, Boston had already hosted its own gathering of the greatest bands: a gargantuan music event called the National Peace Jubilee was held between June 15 and 19 in 1869. It was held to celebrate the reunification of America after the Civil War.

Carpenters were solicited to build a Coliseum that could seat 30,000 audience members in the newly filled Back Bay. Advertisements in newspapers were sent out across the nation seeking musicians who would participate in the event. Railroad companies off…

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