Victorian Americans celebrated Independence Day much like we do today…with some notable differences. Many historic occasions coincided with Independence Day (intentionally, I imagine), and patriotism swelled from small western towns to historic cities like Philadelphia. This review of Victorian-era Fourths of July may spark your patriotism while it enlightens your view of America’s past.
As an amateur historian, fascinated by all things Victorian and in anxious search of accurate information about the telegraph in the United States, I found Standage’s book to be informative, concise, humorous, entertaining, an easy read, and exactly what I was looking for. I understand more now about how the antiquated–and yet highly innovative–Victorian technology actually worked than I could have imagined. Standage addressed everything from the various men at work (often unaware of one another) to create the means of sending rapid messages over a great distance to the consequences on warfare and other news of the day. He addressed the employees of both genders, romances that flourished as a result of time spent together ‘online’, and the challenges eventually conquered in laying the Transatlantic Cable. 5 STARS!
Victorian Americans not only observed Flag Day on June 14th–they created it. Flag poles on government property sported the star spangled banner. Private citizens raised the flag, draped patriotic bunting over porch rails and fences, and attended military parades. Most of all, they recalled what the American flag stands for, its symbolism, and the meaning of patriotism. The practice of observing Flag Day on June 14th, annually, had been in practice since the 1870s and become widespread, but it took well into the 20th century for a President of the United States to make the day a federal holiday.
YES. LEAP YEAR ROMANCES REALLY DID OCCUR!
Some Leap Year engagements credited to poor behavior of young men in the other three out of four years. Thus Ladies’ Leap Year Clubs and Men’s Leap Year Clubs passed resolutions of how to best protect and support one another through the difficulties. Rules for Leap Year parties, and more!
This article celebrates the origins of the United States’ Independence Day, including 10 little known Top Ten facts regarding historical celebrations of July 4th.