The Old North Bridge is a historical site in the Battle of Concord, the first day of battle in the Revolutionary War. The North Bridge that visitors walk over today is actually a recent (summer of 2005 - based on drawings of the bridge built in the 1760s) restoration of the last bridge built on this site in 1956. The 1956 bridge is the fifth bridge to occupy this hallowed ground since the time of the battle in 1775. The bridge that was there in 1775, the "battle bridge," was taken down in 1788. In 1836, when there was no bridge at the site, the residents of Concord erected a memorial obelisk on the east side of the river, the side closest to the town center. On Independence Day, July 4, 1837, the memorial was dedicated, an event for which Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote his "Concord Hymn". The first, and best known, of the four stanzas of this poem is:
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The Old Manse, Emerson's ancestral home and later residence of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, is immediately adjacent to the North Bridge.
The bridge was also the inspiration for a bridge in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, specifically the bridge leading from the hub in front of Cinderella Castle to the area celebrating American independence called Liberty Square.