Pictorial Reflections on July 4th Celebrations

 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Independence Day an official federal holiday in 1941. The Fourth of July has taken on many forms in various geographic areas of the country since the first commemoration on July 4, 1777. Rural settings celebrations had neighborhood potlucks with group games such as potato sack and three-legged races. Families enjoyed visiting and rarely were there fireworks. But time away from daily chores made the day just as exciting. The mayor or some other dignitary read the Declaration of Independence and other well-known speeches of our forefathers. People hung on every word. Then exploded with applause when the recitations were finished. Patriot music commemorate the day.

I’ve collected some photos of July 4th celebration throughout history.  It’s fun to see how the holiday has evolved.

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Some things never change.

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ripley 4th 1890s

Early 1900s parade.

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Notice the greased pig  and slippery pole contests.

1 Grand Army of the Republin in Parade

Civil War Veterans march in a parade circa 1890s

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A women’s foot race early 1900s.

Fourth of July celebration, hurdle race (colored)

Hurdle race at an African American celebration. Looks painful.

Check out the photos below. Children portraying the fife and drum players from the revolutionary war often were parts of parades during my childhood. Not the tricycles in the last group. Bike parades around a neighborhood were not uncommon in the 1950s and 1960s. The other two picture are taken decades earlier.

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Uncle Sam appeared in every 4th of July celebration.

Ben Shahn - At the July 4th celebration, Ashville, Ohio, 1938

What decade do you think this is?

 

Parade photo

Parades still continue to mark the day.

 

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Do you recall all the Independence Day fun you’ve enjoyed? Don’t forget to take a moment to thank God for the freedom you have.

 

 

12 Folds of the American Flag Have Significant Meaning

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In honor of Independence Day I am posting a revised version of a previous post from a few years ago. Independence Day celebrations have taken on a whole new meaning. Less about freedom and our countries heritage and more about BBQs, fireworks and fun. As a writer who loves to do research I wanted to repost my finding on the flag folding ceremony. Respecting the flag and all it stands for is coming under attack once again. The following is my tribute to our great nation and those who have fought and continue to fight to defend our rights as citizens of this country.

When you attended a funeral or watch a flag being taken down and folded in a precise fashion you might be surprised what each fold represents.

Each fold of our flag makes a statement

  1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
  2. The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
  3. The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world. rev custom flag folding
  4. The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
  5. The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
  6. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
  7. The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic. unknownsoldier_grave
  8. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
  9. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
  10. The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
  11. The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  12. The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost. tricorenr folded flag

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God we Trust.”

folded flag passed off

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

 

My granddaughters at 4th of July parade

My granddaughters at 4th of July parade

When you look at our flag in the parade, waving on a pole or in the hand of a small child pause to remember the rich heritage of the Stars and Stripes.

Happy Independence Day!

What comes to mind when you look at Old Glory?

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