The Night the Stagecoach Burned|
Perhaps the most famous of all Tom Bailey tales is the story of the
interrupted celebration of Fourth of July. Boys will be boys, they say,
but this night in Portsmouth, NH it was more like Lord of the Flies.
When local officials postponed a fireworks display, the kids in town had a celebration of their own. The story has a solid basis in truth, since this same event appears to have taken place when Portsmouth officials delayed July 4 for the visit of US President James Polk in the 1840s. Aldrich adapted the event for his bestseller "Story of a Bad Boy".
Illustration from the 1923 Riverside Press edition of "Story of a Bad Boy" by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, originally published in 1869.
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