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Historical Fourth of July Celebrations

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As the July 4th weekend fast approaches, here at the Entertainer we are getting in the mood to celebrate America’s birthday. This weekend will certainly be filled with family picnics and barbecues with friends. Looking back at history’s most noteworthy Fourth of July’s, we have made a list of the most interesting celebrations (in no particular order):

  1. 2002: After 9/11 in 2001, the most intense security precautions were taken across the country to prevent the threat of a possible terrorist attack. Americans across the nation celebrated nonetheless. Large and small tributes were made to those lost on September 11th.
  2. 1976: The nation’s Bicentennial took place this year. In 1776 at 2 p.m. the Declaration of Independence was approved, and in 1976 people around the nation rang bells to celebrate the occasion. In New York, Operation Sail took place where millions watched hundreds of ships in a parade in the Atlantic Ocean. The naval ship USS Constitution fired her cannons for the first time in 95 years. The U.S. Capitol flew over 10,000 American flags, which was a record.
  3. 1963: In honor of the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King Jr., the annual “Let Freedom Ring” tradition began across America. Across the country, patrons simultaneously rang their bells 13 times.
  4. 2006: The space shuttle Discovery lifted off at Kennedy Space Center for the first time. Wounded soldiers from Iraq publicly read parts of the Declaration of Independence at the ceremony.
  5. 1993: Johnny Cash celebrated the Fourth with the nation by reciting his patriotic poem, “Rugged Old Flag” in Washington D.C., Citizens held flags in honor of prisoners of war and servicemen that were missing in action during the Vietnam War.
  6. 1912: The new American flag featuring 50 stars was officially endowed.
  7. 1895: The first “woman’s day” took place in Chautauqua, NY where women celebrated femininity by wearing yellow for Independence Day.
  8. 1906: Oklahoma officially became a state in 1907, but in 1906 celebrated with the rest of the nation. Oklahoma was the 46th state, and commemorated the occasion by firing a 46 gun salute.
  9. 2007: Thousands of people became American citizens for Independence Day in 2007. 1000 people from 75 countries took the oath of citizenship at Disney World in Florida, 31 more in Annapolis and 161 soldiers were naturalized in Camp Victory in Iraq by General David Petraeus and Senator John McCain.
  10. 1974: At the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., thousands of people attended a reenactment of the Frederick Douglass speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” to march in hopes of reigniting the 1960s civil rights movement.

What will you be doing this fourth of July weekend? Let us know.

Sources: http://www1.american.edu/heintze/fourth.htm

Images from braveheartsports via Flickr.

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