SOURCE: Saturday Evening Post
What is the Meaning of America's Oldest July 4th Celebration?
by Ben Railton
Bristol, Rhode Island's patriotic festivities are the oldest Independence Day festivities in the nation, but the town's history sits at the uncomfortable intersection of independence with the slave trade and wars of extermination against Native Americans.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
Partisans Often Try to Claim July 4 as their Own. It Usually Backfires
by Kevin M. Kruse
Intense partisans seeking to use July 4 celebrations as a way to denounce their opponents as unpatriotic have seldom succeeded, though despite some notorious episodes of Independence Day chaos they will probably keep trying.
The National Bicentennial Erased Antiwar Activism by Vietnam Veterans
by Elise Lemire
The United States Semiquincentennial Commission is preparing for July 4, 2026 as an opportunity for educating the public about the nation's history. It should avoid repeating the whitewash of recent history in the 1976 Bicentennial celebration.
SOURCE: New York Times
The Battle for 1776
How will the re-emergence of history as a culture war battle front impact the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence? Annette Gordon-Reed, Jane Kamensky, Michael Hattem, Kevin Gover, Philip Mead, Robert Parkinson and Alan Taylor are among the historians commenting.
This Independence Day, We Need a Patriotism Index
by Gregory D. Foster
We must now develop a long-overdue Patriotism Index to quantitatively distinguish real Americans from the many poseurs and potential enemies who lurk among us.
Of Steamboats and Fireworks: The Great Mississippi River Race of 1870
by Eric Simanek
On the 4th of July of 1870, a 1,200 mile race between two steamboats on the Mississippi River was decided. The race attracted global interest. Reporters wrote about it. Gamblers wagered on it. People gathered and cheered for it.
Do American Indians Celebrate the 4th of July?
The history of American Indian people's relationships with the federal government has shaped complex traditions of observing (or not) July 4th.
Why Doesn't D.C. Have a Military Parade on the Fourth of July?
by David Austin Walsh
On Bastille Day in Paris, the trees lining the Champs-Élysées are covered in the French tricolor. Battalion after battalion of French troops march down the avenue, gleaming bayonets attached to their Space Age rifles. Tanks, armored cars, and nuclear missiles roll past a viewing stand where the French president and his generals look on as martial music plays.It's one of the largest military parades in the world, and it's been going on nearly every year since 1880 (except from 1940-1944, for obvious reasons). Here's what it looks like:Here's what the Fourth of July parade down Constitution Ave. in Washington, D.C. looks like:
HNN Hot Topics: July 4th
What are we celebrating on the 4th? And every other question you've ever had about the holiday!
Top 5 Myths About the Fourth of July!
by Rick Shenkman
Credit: Wiki Commons.#1 Independence Was Declared on the Fourth of July.America's independence was actually declared by the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. The night of the second the Pennsylvania Evening Post published the statement:"This day the Continental Congress declared the United Colonies Free and Independent States."So what happened on the Glorious Fourth? The document justifying the act of Congress-you know it as Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence-was adopted on the fourth, as is indicated on the document itself, which is, one supposes, the cause for all the confusion. As one scholar has observed, what has happened is that the document announcing the event has overshadowed the event itself.When did Americans first celebrate independence? Congress waited until July 8, when Philadelphia threw a big party, including a parade and the firing of guns. The army under George Washington, then camped near New York City, heard the new July 9 and celebrated then. Georgia got the word August 10. And when did the British in London finally get wind of the declaration? August 30.
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