Posts Tagged ‘Fourth of July’

They Signed it on a Holiday

July 3, 2012

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Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) Jul 4, 1922

A Little Less Patter and A Lot More Fury

July 3, 2012

Not parades, not fireworks, not speeches or flagwaving will feature this fateful anniversary of the birth of our nation this year.

Instead grim-faced workmen toiling through the holiday in Fitchburg’s 100 per cent war industries, children and housewives still searching out precious scrap to add to the nation’s resources, civil defense unites going seriously about their protective duties and Fitchburg businessmen unselfishly contributing to the great community effort mark this 166th birthday of our independence.

This is a Fighting Fourth; bullets and bombs replace firecrackers and rockets. It’s time to face the issue squarely and to stop side-stepping and avoiding the sacrifices that must be made in the daily life of every man, woman, and child.

It’s time to show a little fury; to get mad at the things that are threatening the freedom we have gained through 166 years of sweat and struggle. We’re a free nation; we’re a fighting nation — read the battle-cries of the men who have fought to protect this country as they are dramatically presented by picture and story elsewhere in this issue of The Sentinel.

What is your battle-cry for this Fighting Fourth?

Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jul 3, 1942


IF THERE were no man like Douglas MacArthur to say, “I came through, and I shall return;” if there had been no man like John Paul Jones to shout, “I have not yet begun to fight”; if there were no men like the doughboy at the left, who know such words in their hearts, even if they have not heard them spoken — if none of these men had ever lived, there would be no Independence Day now for America. On this page are pictured some of the Americans whose fighting words have echoed ’round the world. They are shown in the dramatic settings under which the words were spoken.

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves . . . . The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this Army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of a brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or to die.

“Our own, our Country’s honour, calls upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion; and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us, then, rely on the goodness of our cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions. The eyes of all our countrymen are now upon us; we shall have their blessings and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the tyranny meditated against them. Let us, therefore, animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a freeman contending for liberty . . . is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.

“Liberty, property, life and honour are all at stake.”

— GEORGE WASHINGTON,  before Battle of Long Island, 1776.

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“Give me liberty, or give me death.” — Patrick Henry, 1775.

“Damn the torpedoes, and full speed ahead” — Admiral David Farragut, 1864.

“Don’t give up the ship.” — Capt. James Lawrence, 1813.

“Come on you __ __ __ do you want to live forever?” — Marine Sgt. Daniel Daly, 1918.

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” — Nathan Hale, 1776.

Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jul 3, 1942

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Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jul 3, 1942

Hugh Mulcahy, left, is greeted by Hank Greenberg on arrival at Air Force Officers’ school, at Miami Beach. Mulcahy, former pitching star of Philadelphia Nationals, and the big boy who hit home runs for the Detroit Americans are in the same league now.

Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jul 3, 1942

Story of Our Flag as Told by Nina Barwise

July 3, 2012

Image from BergerFine Arts

Story of Our Flag as Told by Nina Barwise

At the flag ceremony this morning Miss Nina Barwise read the following history of the Stars and Stripes.

It is not generally known and comes as a surprise to many Americans to realize that the Stars and Stripes is the oldest National flag in existence. Although the colonists frequently used devices of their own, the English flag was the flag of the country for more than one hundred and fifty years.

So different were the symbols of the colonies, regiments and ships that Washington, in 1775 wrote “Please fix some flag by which our vessels may know each other.”

In 1777 Congress appointed a committee consisting of General Washington, Robert Morris and Colonel Ross, “to designate a suitable flag for the nation.”

This committee as all the world knows conferred with Mistress Betsy Ross and afterwards recommended a flag in which the stripes recently introduced were retained, but in which the crosses, the symbol of British authority, gave place to the stars which were henceforth to shine for liberty.

This committee having reported on Jun 14, 1777 in old Independence Hall, Congress adopted the following resolution: “Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate, red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constitution. The stars to be arranged in a circle.”

Enter here the Star Spangled Banner with thirty-seven years to wait for the song that was to immortalize the name.

The flag was not changed until 1795, when two stripes and two stars were added for Vermont and Kentucky. By 1816 four more states were in the family. Realizing that there must be a limit to the stripes, it was recommended that the flag be permanently thirteen stripes, representing the thirteen original states and that a new star be added for each state, as admitted. Since then a star has  been added to the flag on the Fourth of July following the admission of states to the Union.

The flag at the time of the resolution had thirteen stars. In the war of 1812 fifteen, in the Mexican war, 29, in the Civil war 35, and in the Spanish-American war 45; the number today 48.

When about to sail from Salem, Mass., in command of the big “Charles Doggett,” Captain Driver was presented with a large American flag. As it was went aloft and broken out into the air, he christened the beautiful emblem “Old Glory,” and this was the name he ever more used for it.

Ah, folks of white and scarlet; ah blue field with your silver stars! May kind eyes welcome you, willing feet follow you, strong hands defend you, warm hearts cherish you and dying lips give you their blessing.

Ours by inheritance, ours by allegiance, ours by affection; long may you float on the free winds of heaven, the emblem of liberty, the hope of the world.

Unfurl bright stripes shine forth, clear stars swing outward to the breeze.
Go bear your message to the wilds, go tell it to the seas;
That poor men sit  within our shade and rich men in their pride;
That beggar boys and statemen’s sons walk ‘neath you side by side.
You guard the school house on the green, the church upon the hill;
And fold your precious blessings round the cabin by the rill.
While weary hearts from every land beneath the shining sun,
Will work and rest and home  beneath the flag of Washington.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) Jul 4, 1912

**The Flag of Washington – by F.W. Gillett

Excerpt in above (not cited by Nina) – complete poem can be found in:

Title: The American Flag in Prose, Poetry and Song
Published: 1916
Page: 50

The Old American Flag

July 2, 2012

Image from The Gadsden Flag

From the London Chronicle.

The Old American Flag.

The American Standard is thus described. The colors of the American fleet have a snake with thirteen rattles, the fourteenth budding, described in the attitude of going to strike, with this motto “Don’t tread on me.” It is a rule in heraldry that the worthy properties of the crest bone shall be considered and the base one intended. The ancients accounted a snake or a serpent, an emblem of wisdom, and in certain attitudes of endless duration. The rattle snake is properly a representative of America, as this animal is found in no other part of the world. The eye of this creature excels in brightness that of any other animal. She has no eye-lid, and is therefore an emblem of vigilance. — She never begins an attack nor ever surrenders. She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. When injured she never wounds till she gives notice to her enemies in danger.

No other of her kind show such generosity. When undisturbed and in peace, she does not appear to be furnished with weapons of any kind. They are latent in the roof of her mouth, and even when extended for her defense, appear to those who are not acquainted with her to be weak and contemptible, yet her wounds, however small, are decisive and fatal. She is solitary and associates with her kind only when it is necessary for their preservation. Her poison is at once the necessary means of digesting her food, and certain destruction of her enemies. The power of fascination attributed to her by a generous construction resembles America. Those who look steadily upon her are delighted and involuntarily advance toward her. She is frequently found with thirteen rattles, and they increase yearly. She is beautiful in youth, and her beauty increases with her age; her tongue is blue and forked as lightning.

Hillsdale Whig Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) Jul 3, 1849

We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident

July 4, 2011

The Fourth of July.

To the sages who spoke, to the heroes who bled,
To the day and deed, strike the harpstrings of glory!
Let the song of the ransomed remember the dead,
And the tongue of the eloquent hallow the story!
O’er the bones of the bold
Be the story long told,
And on fame’s golden tablets the triumphs enrolled,
Who on freedom’s green hills freedom’s banner unfurled,
And the beacon-fired raised that gave light to the world!
They are gone — mighty men! — and they sleep in their fame;
Shall we ever forget them? Oh, no, never!
Let our sons learn from us to embalm each great name
And the anthem send down — “Independence forever!”
Wake, wake, heart and tongue!
Keep the theme ever young;
Let their deeds through the long line of ages be sung
Who on freedom’s green hills freedom’s banner unfurled,
And the beacon-fire raised that gave light to the world!

— Charles Sprague

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Jul 3, 1939

How Not to Enjoy the Fourth

July 2, 2011








I remember when gas stations used to provide these services — Those were the days!


Standard Oil Dealers are in a position to give you service and supplies that will make your Fourth of July motor trip more enjoyable and less costly. Such things as clean windshield and windows, air for tires, and water for radiators are free, of course. And in addition to good gasoline and motor oil, they can furnish expert chassis lubrication, spark-plug and headlight bulb replacement, tires and batteries. A few minutes under the STANDARD SERVICE sign before you start your trip will be time well spent.


Hammond Times (Hammond, Indiana) Jul 1, 1939

A Poem for July

July 2, 2010


July for you the songs are sung
By birds the leafy trees among;
With merry carolings they wake
The meadows at the morning’s break.
And through the day the lisping breeze
Is woven with their treetop glees;
for you the prattling, pebbly brooks
Are full of tales like story books;
For you a fragrant incense burns
Within the garden’s blossom urns,
Which tempts the bees to hasten home
With honey for their honeycomb.
The river, like a looking glass,
Reflects the fleecy clouds that pass,
Until it makes us almost doubt
If earth and sky aren’t changed about.
July, for you, in silence deep,
The world seems fallen fast asleep,
Save on one glorious holiday,
When all our books are put away,
And every little maid and man
Is proud to be American.

— Frank Dempster Sherman in Exchange.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 1, 1901

BattleBorn Burlesque: Celebrating the Fourth of July

July 1, 2010

Austin, Nevada - 1860s (Image from


How the old Time Austinites Celebrated


The First “Horrible” Demonstration in the BattleBorn State.

In the early days of Austin a number of fun-loving citizens of that then flourishing camp inaugurated the custom of holding burlesque Fourth of July celebrations after the regular exercises of the day were over.

Upon this occasion Judge W.H. Beatty, now Chief Justice in California, arrayed in female apparel and representing Miss Susan B. Anthony, acted as President of the day, and Judge Boalt, the now eminent lawyer of San Francisco, read the “Declamation of Superintendents.”

The Rev. Theopalus Jenkins delivered the following oration, which was copied seriously by a number of English newspapers as a speciman of American frontier oratory and eloquence:


Fellow Hoodlums and Hoodlumesses, Grangers and Grangeresses, Female Crusaders and Male Persuaders, Whangdoodlers, Ore Thieves and Three-card Monte Dealers.

Governor Herny G. Blasdel

This is the proudest moment of my eventful life. when I cast my eagle eye over the sea of upturned and unwashed faces that surround me, and behold the familiar countenances of so many of my former comrades in arms who participated with me in that glorious struggle for liberty — at the last State’s prison break at Carson — the emotions of my heart are too powerful for utterance and I can only offer a silent benison to Governor Blasdel and the Pardoning Board of Nevada for tempering the wind to the shorn ram, in thus enabling us to cast our lines among the ewes and wethers of this beautifully heterogeneous and cosmopolitan metropolis of Manhattanville.

My fellow hoodlums. More than three hundred years have elapsed since our Pilgrim fathers left their mothers-in-law and all other cherished household gods behind them in the Old World that they might be enabled to worship God and burn witches and Quakers according to the dictates of their own consciences. They landed in the midst of a Siberian winter upon the inhospitable shores of New England, when there wasn’t a distillery in the country and Plymouth Rock wouldn’t pay ten dollars to the ton by the dry process with the Stetefeldt improvement. Beans and bacon were unattainable luxuries, and the Indians had a corner on pine nuts and dried grasshoppers. Times were tough and the puritanic goose was pendant at a depressed altitude.

But, did the lion hearts of our sturdy forefathers quail before this accumulated load of adversity? Nary a quail. Perseverance and religious ardor will accomplish wonders, and behold the result! To-day the potency of New England rum and New England school-marms is felt and appreciated wherever the arts and sciences are cherished and wherever civilization has a foothold. From the Georgia Major, who in the gorgeous oriental costume of his country bends the pregnant hinges of the knee before the throne of the King of Dahomey, to the civilized savage who builds his wigwam in obscurity on the populous banks of the turbulent Reese, from the everglades of Labrador to the snow-capped prairies of Texas; from the Coliseum at Rome to that modern monument of enterprise and enlightenment — the citizens’ mill at Austin; from Alfalfa to Omaha and from the Pyramids of Egypt to Simpson’s park.

My fellow hoodlums, there stands Plymouth Rock and there stands Plymouth Church — probably two of the best stands in the country. The literati of America have vied with one another in doing homage and giving to the guardian spirits of each a prominent page upon the history of our beloved country. Longfellow has immortalized in verse the blighted love of Miles Standish, while Victoria Woodhull warbles sweet refrains commemorative of the tender bonds of platonic affection which sanctify the lives of Henry Ward Beecher and Mrs. Theodore Tilton?.

But, my fellow Hoodlums, all this is digressive. We have not assembled here to-day for the purpose of doing homage to a barren boulder, but to celebrate the natal day of that great North American bird which whipped the universal game cock of creation, and caused the crown heads of Europe to shake in their boots worse than did that spermacetti duck of old, when the Apostle Paul shook his fist under his nose, and vociferated unto him, ‘Thou art the man!’

The great American Eagle that holds down the gallinacious bird of France with one claw, the double headed buzzard of Germany with the other and chaws up the British Lion into mincemeat, with the entire balance of the European menagerie roosting on his tail feathers! And yet this extraordinary bipedal cuss has not yet reached his prime of life! In a few years more he will confiscate the navies of Europe to build himself a nest, gobble the armies of the world for breakfast and afterwards use them to fertalize the soil of his ranch — which by that time will be bounded on the north by the Aurora Borealis, and on the south by the Antartic Cirle. He will turn England into a corral for his bronchos, and stable his mastodons in the Tulleries of France.

Battle Mountain (Image from

But to resume my digression. The great principles of E Plumbus Unum have never been more beautifully illustrated than in the growth and prosperity of our famous city. Here but a few short years ago the gentle Shoshone held undesputed sway. Clad in the gorgeous costume of his race, which consisted principally of an abbreviated breech clout and a couple of postage stamps — he pergrinating peacefully over his native hills, monarch of years has elapsed, since, where we now stand, no sound broke the solemn and serene stillness of the air — except the occasional yelp of the noble cayote as he stalked grandly over his native heath, dragging his majestic tail behind him. A few short years and behold the change! A city to which all the people of Lander county pay tribute. Her surrounding hillsides teeming with the fruitful sagebrush and nutritious pine nut. A city supporting three churches and thirteen fare banks, forty two gun mills and one quartz mill, and all that is wanted to make it the commercial center of the earth is a railroad from Battle Mountain or a high toned deck of hurdy-gurdies from Carson. A city whose common schools will compare favorably with those of any nation on the face of the earth. Where the standard of the moral culture of our youths have attained such an elevation, that the chances are — if they have good luck and no set backs — a majority of them will break into the penitentiary before they are twenty-one years of age.

Taking these things into consideration, my fellow hoodlums, let me admonish you, when to night, you retire to your several homes, in the hospital, the pest house and the calaboose, to firmly resolve in your minds that the fires of patriotism shall never burn dimly within you, and that you will never prove ungrateful to the country that supports such institutions for your benefit.

In conclusion, my fellow hudlums, I will remark that I am an Independent candidate for Congress, subject to the nomination of all the conventions that meet in the State. My principles are liberal, and were constructed especially to meet the emergencies of the approaching campaign. I am what might be termed and Independent Democratic Republican Granger. I am opposed to the Battle Mountain and Austin railroad — for the reason that I have generally found it more comfortable walking on state roads than on railroad ties. I am in fact opposed to all railroads, but in favor of free passes, free schools and free school marms. I believe that every woman has a constitutional right to be a school marm, and if I was on the Board of Trustees, I would vote for them all — irrespective of age, sex, color, or previous conditions of servitude.

I am opposed to the Sutro tunnel, but in favor of artesian wells — where they don’t conflict with the interests of distilleries and breweries. I am an ardent female suffragist and in favor of giving the ladies all they want and more, too, if they demand it.

I shall support Susan B. Anthony for President. She is one of the old time girls and I consider it a duty incumbent upon all forty-niners to stand in for her. Let us all stand in unitedly, and victory will purch upon her waterfall. The American eagle, from his cyrie in the mountains, will swoop down upon her, seize the slack of her pannier in his beak, and with her, wing a triumphant flight to the White House at Washington.

And now, my fellow hoodlums, for the purpose of testing the sense of this meeting, or rather for the purpose of testing whether or not this meeting has any sense, I will propose a conundrum:

All of you who are in favor of the political views I have just expressed, and are in favor of the aforesaid female and your humble servent for the respective positions I have mentioned, will manifest it by saying “Ay!” All opposed will fire off a six-shooter. It is carried unanimously, and I take great pleasure in extending to you all a cordial invitation to walk down to the Cedar street hydrant and take a drink at my expense.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 4, 1899

Turkish Fleet Celebrates America’s Day of Independence

July 1, 2010

Maine Man in Turk Navy.

(Kennebec Journal)

The Turkish navy does not rank very high among the navies of the world, being just a little stronger than that of Switzerland, but it is interesting to note that a Maine man has just been named as its commander. The new admiral, Ransford D. Bucknam, was born in Bucksport, the picturesque old town on the Penobscot which has sent out so many good sailors during the last century.

He is only 42 years of age, and his early training was in the American merchant marine. Later he became trial captain for the American war vessels built for the Cramps, and in this capacity he commanded a vessel built at Philadelphia for the Turkish government. He took the new vessel to Constantinople, while there the sultan offered him the position of naval adviser of the Turkish navy, and from that position he has risen in a few years to be the highest officer in the Turkish service.

The story is told that two years ago on July 4, this patriotic son of Bucksport made the entire Turkish fleet celebrate the great American day of Independence. He organized games and competitions, had his band play patriotic American airs, delivered a Fourth of July oration to his sailors, and set off fireworks in the evening. Instead of a reprimand this brought praise from the sultan, who respected his patriotic sentiments and admired his spirit of independence.

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) Dec 5, 1907

Read more about Bucknam Pashna Ottoman Navy at the Mavi Boncuk blog.