On the night of April 18, 1775, Newman and Pulling climbed into the scaffolding of the church to place one or two lanterns into the steeple to indicate to those outside of Boston how the British were to arrive in the area while Revere rode through the countryside to warn every nearby patriot of British movement. Seeing that the Regulars were crossing the Charles River, Newman and Pulling place two lanterns and fled to avoid arrest. By the following afternoon, skirmishes were occurring in the cities of Lexington and Concord, marking the official start of the Revolutionary War.
Garnering over half a million visitors each year, the Church has not only become a beacon of religious freedom to the Boston area, but an icon of patriotism and revolution when a country needed it most. If not for the actions of a few brave individuals that night, independence may not have been reached. The events of that night have been forever enshrined in William Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem Paul Revere's Ride, a poem many a student has heard or even recited in a history class.