Bennington Battle Day

Bennington Battle Day is a holiday observed on the 16th of August in the U.S. state of Vermont. This holiday commemorates the American victory over the British army at the Battle of Bennington. The Battle of Bennington took place on August 16, 1777, during the American Revolutionary War. This holiday is usually observed with battle reenactments, particularly the one held around the Bennington Battle Monument on this day. In Vermont, this is a legal holiday but is generally not observed outside of that state.

The History of Bennington Battle Day

The history of this holiday dates back to 1875 when a group of history enthusiasts and historians decided that the Battle of Bennington should have its own official holiday. The following year, in 1876, they organized the official Bennington Battle Monument Association, and $15,000 was raised towards building a monument by the Vermont Legislature. New Hampshire and Massachusetts were invited to join Vermont in the work, and both states responded—New Hampshire with a contribution of $5,000 and Massachusetts with a contribution of $7,500. The Bennington Battle Monument Association also raised $5,000 for the project. The monument was finished and dedicated in 1891. It stands 306 feet 4.5 inches tall and is made from blue-gray magnesium limestone. Bennington Battle Day celebrations have been observed at this spot ever since its completion.

The Battle of Bennington Facts

If you want to celebrate Bennington Battle Day, then you’re going to want to start off by learning a few things about the battle that this holiday commemorates. To help our readers with that endeavor, we’ve listed some facts about this battle below. While the following facts are certainly interesting, we still recommend that everyone takes the time to read a more thorough history of this battle when they get a chance.

  • The estimated casualties for this battle were 270 soldiers.
  • About 200 of the casualties were on the British side, while the Americans only lost 70 soldiers.
  • Approximately 700 British soldiers were also either taken as prisoners of war or ended up missing.
  • The American commander at this battle was John Stark, and the British commander was Friedrich Baum.
  • Although this is a legal holiday in Vermont, the battle site is a New York state historic site and is now a National Historic Landmark.
  • There were approximately 1,000 American militiamen involved in this battle.
  • The battle occurred after a day of nonstop rain.

Observing Bennington Battle Day

Every year, an event is held around the Bennington Battle Monument. Activities at this event include reenactments and other activities. Every year on this holiday, there is a firing of the Molly Stark Cannon—this is the oldest firing cannon in the entire U.S. Although this is a state holiday in Vermont, it doesn’t mean that only residents of that state can observe it. Anyone can celebrate this holiday by taking the time to learn about the Battle of Bennington. People can also use the hashtag #BenningtonBattleDay to spread the word about this holiday on social media.

Where is it celebrated?
United States (State holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 16 Friday
Next year (2025)
August 16 Saturday
Last year (2023)
August 16 Wednesday