Bunker Hill, Battle of, June 17, 1775, the first major battle of the American Revolution. It was an American defeat, but through the years has come to be regarded as a victory because of the way in which untrained American militia was able to resist disciplined British regulars. Despite its name, the battle was not fought on Bunker Hill, but on nearby Breed's Hill on the peninsula of Charlestown (now part of Boston), Massachusetts.

American militia under Colonel William Prescott fortified the hill in an effort to prevent the British from breaking out of Boston. (Bunker Hill had been chosen originally for this fortification.) When General William Howe's British troops attacked, the Americans were supposedly told, by either General Israel Putnam or Prescott, “Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes.” After two hours of fighting, the Americans ran out of ammunition and retreated. The British had 1,054 casualties, the Americans about 450. The battle was notable for the blunders on both sides—the Americans chose the wrong place to defend and the British chose the wrong method of attack. Although the British took the hill, they failed to stop the siege of Boston by the Americans.

Bunker Hill Monument, a massive granite shaft 221 feet (67 m) high, stands on Breed's Hill. Lafayette laid the cornerstone in 1825 and Daniel Webster dedicated the monument in 1843. The monument can be climbed by an interior stairway.