Tea parties today and the 1700s

A tea party in the nation's capital

In the dark of night in Boston Harbor, the Boston Tea Party on Dec. 16, 1773 actually spawned two other tax protests.

On December 16, 1773, officials in Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain. A group of colonists boarded three ships and tossed the into Boston Harbor. It was iconic event of American history, and other political protests often refer to it.

It was more than a few boxes of tea. The East India Company in 1773 shipped nearly 600,000 pounds of tea to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charleston, S.C.

It took up to 130 men about three hours to dunk 97,000 pounds of tea in the harbor.

The other acts of civil disobedience took place in Chestertown, Maryland in May 1774 and Edenton, N.C. on Oct. 25, 1774.

The Edenton Tea Party was a landmark, not because of the stances taken—boycotts were common across the Thirteen Colonies—but because it was organized by women.

The latest round of tea party protests began in the U.S. in 2009.

The protests centered around an 18 percent tax on non-diet colas in New York City, the Bush Administration Troubled Asset Relief Program, tax day on April 15, 2009, and Independence Day on July 4, 2009.

Now post of the protests center on just about anything proposed by Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate. The gridlock has come close to shutting-down the government.