What Was the "shot Heard Round the World"?


Quick Answer

The phrase "the shot heard 'round the world" originally referred to the first gunshots of the American Revolutionary War. Ralph Waldo Emerson coined the phrase in his 1837 poem "Concord Hymn" about the battles of Lexington and Concord.

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Full Answer

The phrase is included on an inscription from the base of Daniel Chester French's statue, "The Minute Man." On April 19, 1775, 77 minutemen faced off with 250 English soldiers, and a skirmish ensued after a shot was fired into the night. In the 20th century, the phrase also became associated with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, which sparked the first World War.

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