Family & Friends

In Praise of the Old-Fashioned Fourth

[FROM OUR ARCHIVES]

 

Three cheers for the traditional Fourth of July celebration, Americans’ annual salute to their country — local-citizen parades, bands striking up “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” crowds singing “America, the Beautiful,” earnest readings of the Declaration of Independence, barbecues, dazzling fireworks. Women’s Voices has covered many such home-grown tributes. Today, from our archives, we’re featuring three traditional Fourths, from towns tiny (Afton, Minnesota, current pop. 3,000) to small (Marblehead, Massachusetts, current pop. 19,000) to huge (Philadelphia, current pop. 1.6 million, which, as the birthplace of the Declaration, proudly considers itself Fourth of July Central).

 

CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE DAY IN A DIVIDED NATION
By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D. | July 5, 2018

America is an idea that needs the support of its citizens to survive. Decide what America you want to live in.  Then take action to sustain it.

Celebrating Independence Day in a Divided Nation

 

 

FOURTH OF JULY IN PHILADELPHIA: “WE OWN THIS”
By Suzanne Fluhr | July 4, 2014

As the city where the Declaration of Independence was actually debated, written, and signed in 1776, Philadelphians feel understandably proprietary about American Independence Day. In announcing plans for the city’s [11-day] 2014 celebration of the Fourth of July, Philadelphia mayor, Michael Nutter, asserted, “This is Philadelphia. We own this.”

Fourth of July in Philadelphia: “We Own This”

 

 

JULY 4 IN MARBLEHEAD, MASSACHUSETTS: A LITTLE TOWN WITH BIG HISTORY
By Alexandra MacAaaron | July 3, 2014

Marblehead is a quaint little town that puts on a very big Independence Day party. Its residents take the celebration of the Fourth very seriously, for Marblehead’s contribution to our winning the American Revolution was significant.

July 4 in Marblehead, Massachusetts: A Little Town with Big History

 

 

FOURTH OF JULY: FREEDOM FIGHTERS BENEATH OUR FEET
By Stacia Friedman | July 4, 2016

Growing up in Philly, I crossed Washington Square Park hundreds of times without knowing its history. One day, I read the inscription above a monument with an eternal flame. “Freedom is a light for which many have died in darkness.” I read on in horror. In 1776, more than 2,500 fallen troops of Washington’s army were buried unceremoniously here in a mass grave.

Fourth of July: Freedom Fighters Beneath Our Feet

 

 

JULY 4 IN AFTON, MINNESOTA: HEARTFELT IN THE HEARTLAND
By Diane Dettmann  | July 2, 2014

I wondered what could be so special about a parade in a community of a couple thousand people where the deer ate my begonias by night and raccoons raided the bird feeder daily. I found out: Afton’s small-town parade represents so much of what life in America is about—family, community, and freedom. READ MORE

July 4 in Afton, Minnesota: Heartfelt in the Heartland

 

 

POETRY SUNDAY: FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND, THE FLAG, AND JULIA WARD HOWE
By Women’s Voices For Change | July 6, 2014

Julia Ward Howe, author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” suffered mightily for what the values of her times considered close to sin— having not one, but many a career, finding her way out of socially imbued prejudice and ignorance, and always—always—reminding women through her poetry that being oppressed was a choice, not a destiny.

Poetry Sunday: Fourth of July Weekend, the Flag, and Julia Ward Howe

 

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  • caren gittleman July 4, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    boy oh boy do I miss the “old fashioned” 4th celebrations!! Happy 4th! Stay safe!

    Reply
  • Julia Spring July 4, 2019 at 7:22 am

    Is there a way to get an email just ONCE a week?

    Reply