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  • Geographically, 'Dorchester Neck' was an isthmus, a narrow strip of land that connected the mainland of the colonial settlement of Dorchester, Massachusetts with Dorchester Heights. Landfill has since greatly increased the amount of land on the eastern side of the historical neck, and widened the connection the mainland to the point that South Boston is no longer considered separate from it. South Boston gained an identity separate from Dorchester, but the two were annexed by Boston in pieces, from 1804 to 1870. (See History of Boston, Massachusetts.) It was here on Dorchester Heights, during the American Revolutionary War that George Washington placed his cannon and forced the evacuation of the British troops from Boston on March 17, 1776. The British evacuated Boston and Fort William and Mary for Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova ScotiaHalifax, Nova Scotia. Fort William and Mary was replaced with a brick fortification known as Fort Independence (Massachusetts) Fort Independence. That fort was replaced by a granite fortification (bearing the same name) prior to the American Civil War, and still stands on Castle Island. During the 1970s South Boston received national attention for its opposition to court mandated school desegregation by Desegregation busingbusing students to different neighborhoods. In the 1990s, South Boston became the focus for a Supreme Court case on the right of gay and lesbian groups to participate in the Saint Patrick's Day (Evacuation Day) parade. The case was decided in favor of the parade's sponsors when the United States Supreme Court supported the South Boston Allied War Veterans right to determine who can participate in their annual St. Patrick's Day parade. Local Dorchester author Paul Joseph Walkowski and Attorney William Connolly detailed the ordeals of the Veterans in their book "From Trial Court to the United States Supreme Court." "Southie" is home to the first memorial for Vietnam Veterans in the United States. It was dedicated on September 13, 1981 and is located at Independence Square, which is more commonly called "M Street Park." The City Point area of South Boston, labeled "East Side" by realtors, has seen a major increase in property values due to its close proximity to downtown Boston and gentrification. Poorer areas around Andrew Square and the Lower End, referred to as the "West Side" by real estate brokers, face a lot of the same problems found in many city neighborhoods including drug addiction and street crime. The section of South Boston north of First Street is targeted for massive redevelopment by the administration of Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston Redevelopment Authority

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