History remembers John Adams as a Founding Father and our country’s second president. But in the tense years before the American Revolution, he was a lawyer, fighting for justice in one of the most explosive murder trials of the era. On the night of March 5, 1770, shots were fired by British soldiers on the streets of Boston, killing five civilians. The Boston Massacre has often been called the first shots of the American Revolution. As John Adams would later remember, “On that night the formation of American independence was born.” Yet when the British soldiers faced trial, the young Adams was determined that they receive a fair one. He volunteered to represent them, keeping the peace in a powder keg of a colony, and in the process created some of the foundations of what would become United States law.