AdobeStock_110757232 CROPPED

United States. Independence Day

For me, memories of Independence Day will forever carry the odor of discharged fireworks, with the boom and flash of sparkling overhead pyrotechnics. I still tear up when I hear God Bless the U.S.A. [Proud to be an American] (by Lee Greenwood) over the loudspeakers during a firework show. Ice cream and Popsicles, 100-degree weather, sunburns, dunking tanks, parades, 5K races, hotdog vendors, ice-cold Coke, and family cookouts. My hometown even had a parking lot dance after the fireworks.

Many of our current celebrations of the 4th of July mirror those of our Victorian American ancestors. Much about the patriotism and celebration of the holiday has remained unchanged since the Civil War. I found the newspaper articles from the nineteenth century (all over the western U.S.A., Midwest, and some from the east) informative of how the holiday was truly viewed, celebrated, honored, and cherished.

"Pyrotechnics" was in use from the mid 19-century on. Who knew?

Pyrotechnics” was in moderate (to high) use from the mid 19-century on. Who knew?

DECORATIONS & FIREWORKS (for at-home use)

The Petroleum Centre Daily Record of Cornplanter, Pennsylvania on June 17, 1869.

The Petroleum Centre Daily Record of Cornplanter, Pennsylvania on June 17, 1869.

THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS

Lincoln's dedication of Gettysburg. Part 1. Monument up 1869. Harrisburg Telegraph of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1869

Lincoln’s dedication of Gettysburg. Part 1. Monument dedicated in 1869. Harrisburg Telegraph of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1869.

Lincoln's dedication of Gettysburg. Part 2. Monument up 1869. Harrisburg Telegraph of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1869

Lincoln’s dedication of Gettysburg. Part 2. Monument dedicated in 1869. Harrisburg Telegraph of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1869.

Note the prophetic last paragraph of the Gettysburg dedication (immediately above):

The Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776, and the speech of President Lincoln, July 4th, 1864, will go down to future generation as worthy to be read by freemen in all coming time.

~ Harrisburg Telegraph of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1869 (5 years after the Gettysburg address on July 4, 1864)

I memorized the Gettysburg Address in 8th grade history class–a required assignment I’ve yet to begrudge my teacher. It’s a piece of marked history foretold to become an essential remembered element of our nation’s history, and it most certainly has. But I’d forgotten President Lincoln’s address was given on July 4th (1864).

United States Flag

HOMETOWN CELEBRATIONS

The Great Bend Weekly Tribune of Great Bend, Kansas, on June 21, 1895

The Great Bend Weekly Tribune of Great Bend, Kansas, on June 21, 1895

Bicycle Racers on July 4th. St. Louis Post-Dispatch of St. Louis, Missouri, On July 2, 1899.

Bicycle Racers on July 4th. St. Louis Post-Dispatch of St. Louis, Missouri, On July 2, 1899.

Red Cloud Grand Celebration. Part 1. The Red Cloud Chief of Red Cloud, Nebraska, on Jun 1, 1883.

Red Cloud Grand Celebration. Part 1. The Red Cloud Chief of Red Cloud, Nebraska, on Jun 1, 1883.

Red Cloud Grand Celebration. Part 2. The Red Cloud Chief of Red Cloud, Nebraska, on Jun 1, 1883.

Red Cloud Grand Celebration. Part 2. The Red Cloud Chief of Red Cloud, Nebraska, on Jun 1, 1883.

Old-Time Celebration. Part 1. The Philipsburg Mail of Philipsburg Montana on June 13, 1889.

Old-Time Celebration. Part 1. The Philipsburg Mail of Philipsburg, Montana, on June 13, 1889.

Old-Time Celebration. Part 2. The Philipsburg Mail of Philipsburg Montana on June 13, 1889.

Old-Time Celebration. Part 2. The Philipsburg Mail of Philipsburg, Montana, on June 13, 1889.

4th of July at Merriam Park. Fort Sccott Daily Monitor of Fort Scott, Kansas, of 23 Jun 1889.

4th of July at Merriam Park. Fort Scott Daily Monitor of Fort Scott, Kansas, on June 23, 1889.

Grand Celebration. Part 1. The Emporia Weekly News of Emporia Kansas on June 25, 1869.

Grand Celebration. Part 1. The Emporia Weekly News of Emporia, Kansas on June 25, 1869.

Grand Celebration. Part 2. The Emporia Weekly News of Emporia Kansas on June 25, 1869.

Grand Celebration. Part 2. The Emporia Weekly News of Emporia, Kansas on June 25, 1869.

The Oskaloosa Independent of Oskaloosa, Kansas, on 24 June, 24, 1898.

The Oskaloosa Independent of Oskaloosa, Kansas, on 24 June, 24, 1898.

United States Flag

AN EXCUSE TO HAVE A BALL

Union Ball. Cedar Falls Gazette of Cedar Falls, Iowa, on June 13, 1862

Union Ball. Cedar Falls Gazette of Cedar Falls, Iowa, on June 13, 1862.

Independence Ball. Janesville Daily Gazette of Janesville, Wisconsin, on June 13, 1862.

Independence Ball. Janesville Daily Gazette of Janesville, Wisconsin, on June 13, 1862.

Grand Ball. Mexico Weekly Ledger of Mexico, Missour, on June 20, 1889,

Grand Ball. Mexico Weekly Ledger of Mexico, Missouri, on June 20, 1889.

America flag US flag

BOATING

Spending time on the water, where it’s infinitely cooler in summertime’s oppressive heat, has been stylish for ages. Numerous “pleasure cruises” were offered in the Great Lakes region, on the grand rivers of the United States (such as the Mississippi) and along its seaboard shores. Because the newspaper clipping didn’t scan well from the historic original, I’ve included a transcription of the body of the article, which follows:

Pleasure excursion. Detroit Free Press of Detroit, Michigan, on July 2, 1862.

Pleasure excursion. Detroit Free Press of Detroit, Michigan, on July 2, 1862.

A transcription of the above article body:

THE magnificent upper cabin steamboat

.

“CITY OF CLEVELAND,”

.

CAPT. GEORGE H RYDER, will leave the dock foot of Woodward avenue for Lake Huron on Friday, July 4th at 8 1/2 o’clock A.M., returning at 8 o’clock P.M. same day, affording the Excursionist the rare chance of a trip to Lake Huron and return, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles, passing each way through Lake and river St. Clair affording a view of the towns and villages on the banks of the beautiful St. Clair River, making the entire trip in one day.

.

The Steamer will have on board good music.

.

Refreshments sold on board the boat.

.

Tickets for the round trip, 50 cents each. For sale on board the boat, or by

S.P. BRADY & CO.,

Foot of Woodward ave.

and JNO. HUTCHINGS & CO.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch of St. Louis, Missouri, on July 2, 1899.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch of St. Louis, Missouri, on July 2, 1899.

United States Flag

MILITARY REENACTMENT

Battle reenactment. Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, New YOrk, on June 22, 1898.

Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, New York, on June 22, 1898.

BASKET DINNERS, PICNICS, & CHURCH SUPPERS

Marion County Herald of Palmyra, Missouri on June 13, 1895,

Marion County Herald of Palmyra, Missouri on June 13, 1895.

Union Basket Meeting. The Empoira Weekly News of Emporia Kansas on June 25, 1869.

The Empoira Weekly News of Emporia, Kansas on June 25, 1869.

Sioux Valley News of Correctionville, Iowa, on June 13, 1889.

Sioux Valley News of Correctionville, Iowa, on June 13, 1889.

Note: the source of my newspaper research (and clippings) is newspapers.com.

America flag US flag

What do you love most about Independence Day Celebrations?

Did any of the newspaper clippings about Victorian Celebrations of July 4th surprise you?

United States Flag

Kristin Holt | Victorian America's Fried Chicken

.

Articles about Victorian Observation of Holidays:

May Day Oddities in the Victorian United States Victorian America and Easter Eggs Victorian Americans and Mardi Gras Victorian Americans Observed Groundhog Day? Victorian Letters to Santa Victorian America Celebrates Halloween Victorian Americans Celebrate Oktoberfest Victorian America Celebrates Labor Day Pioneer Day: Utah’s Victorian History Victorian America Observes Flag Day Victorian America Observes Memorial Day Victorian America Observes Mother’s Day–on Sweet Americana Sweethearts Victorian America Celebrates Arbor Day Victorian America Celebrates Easter Victorian America & April Fool’s Day–on Sweet Americana Sweethearts Victorian America Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day Victorian Leap Year Traditions, Part 1 Victorian Leap-Year Traditions, Part 2 Leap Into Love– The Victorian Way: Sweet Americana Sweethearts Victorian Era Valentine’s Day Victorian New Year Celebrations, on Sweet Americana Sweethearts A Victorian Menu for New Year’s Day, 1892 American Victorian Era Christmas Celebrations Victorian Era Thanksgiving Celebrations Happy Birthday, United States!

Copyright © 2016 Kristin Holt, LC