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historical 4th celebrations

historical 4th celebrations
July 04, 2016 09:48AM
We have discussed this topic before, but mainly in the context of memories of celebrations within our lifetimes. I am interested in what sorts of celebrations took place in Dallas in earlier times, especially in the time between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the 19th/20th century. I have recently read that communities in the Old South, especially in Mississippi, eschewed 4th of July celebrations during some 80 years because of festering discontent toward the Union for the Confederacy having been forced back into the Union.

In fact, I still have some older family members who speak of "those Yankees" as if persons from northern states were some kind of vermin, despite all the amalgamation that has taken place. But they don't go so far as to let it flavor their patriotism. Evidently, that has been the case in some quarters. So, I'm wondering to what degree it was in Dallas.

Dave McNeely
Re: historical 4th celebrations
July 04, 2016 01:21PM
I know in the late 40s and 50s in Oak Cliff, attitudes were replete with suspicion and dislike for Northerners (and negroes). I heard the word "Yankee"used often. There were some kids on our block from Astoria, NY that were constantly demeaned. Their dad transferred down to work at post-war Chance Vought. I thought their accent was so cool. Strangely, my dad referred to all northerners as Jews Jim
Re: historical 4th celebrations
July 06, 2016 01:36AM
I was interested in your question about old-time Dallas July 4th celebrations and, particularly, as to whether those celebrations were somewhat muted due to the influence of ex-Confederates in Dallas.

The answer --- for one year chosen at random, anyway --- is no and yes.

According to the DMN, July 4th activities were about as plentiful in 1910 as in 2017. In a listing of holiday events, the July 3, 1910, Dallas News tells of free automobile races at Fair Park, a double header at Gaston Park between the Dallas Giants and Fort Worth Panthers, a "battle of flowers on the water" at Kidd Springs, an aeroplane ascension at the Koon Kreek Klub (!!!), dinner and dance at the Dallas Golf & Country Club, and amateur city baseball teams in tournament play at most city parks.

The major event of the day, however, was at Lake Cliff. Confederate veterans, under the auspices of local UCV camps and UDC chapters, planned a demonstration of military maneuvers and cannon fire, political speeches, motion pictures of the great battles of Civil War, a fireworks display, and fire portraits of Washington, Lee, Jackson, and others. Vaudeville shows were planned for the Lake Cliff Casino.

The old Confederates weren't shy about celebrating Independence Day.

As to fireworks displays, the situation is a little different. The July 2, 1910, News: "While Dallas, in common with most Southern cities, has never been so frantic, pyrotechnically speaking, in observation of the Fourth of July as Northern and Eastern cities."
Re: historical 4th celebrations
July 07, 2016 09:45PM
As a kid, our family vacation was to visit my daddy's family in Mississippi every summer, over the 4th of July. I never really questioned why they didn't celebrate Independence Day. My dad just told me that they did their fireworks at Christmas rather than in the summer. I'm sure there had to be a connection. These were people who still talked about the "War of Northern Aggression" as if it had just ended which, even as a child, I found peculiar. The first year we didn't go to Mississippi was the first year I realized they did fireworks out at Kiest Park and I was amazed at what I had been missing.
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