Archived Story

A look back to Fourth of July

Published 10:29am Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Independence Day has been celebrated in Hartselle during most of its history. As early as the 1890s there were big community events, which attracted many people of all ages.

July 4, 1876 – Today was the day set aside to commemorate the centennial of the Declaration of Independence. Since the War Between the States was concluded scarcely more than a decade ago, followed close on its heels by Reconstruction, such celebrations as there were in this area were quiet ones.

July 4, 1892 – Today’s Fourth of July celebration in Hartselle included foot races, sock races, old man’s races, wheelbarrow races, mule races, etc. The site of the festivities was Parker Grove near old Hartselle. Chester Lee won the greasy pole climbing prize.

July 4, 1894 – Jim Stewart took home a new pair of bicycle shoes as a result of winning the half-mile bicycle race during Fourth celebrations here today.

June 25, 1900 – The National Committee for a Safe and Sane Fourth is hoping that its work will make the upcoming holiday less deadly than in recent years. Many children have been critically injured, some fatally, as a result of explosives going off in their hands.

July 4, 1901 – Several Decatur youth spent the Fourth here in Hartselle. There were other attractions than the town celebration – especially the pretty girls.

June 30, 1903 – Town and cities all over Alabama are making extensive preparations for celebrating the Fourth of July. Many big excursions and barbecues have been scheduled.

July 2, 1907 – One of the most attractive features of the Fourth of July celebration to be given at Oakland Park, near Decatur, will be a marriage on the casino stage at 9 p.m. The prize will be a parlor set, justice fee and $10 in cash. It has not been announced yet who the couple will be.

July 4, 1908 – A large number of Danville young folks attended the picnic at Penn’s schoolhouse today.

July 4, 1909 – Today was not observed as a holiday by the Morgan County Board of Education. The board met here and made important decisions. The main one was that Prof. J. H. Riddle was nominated for principal of the Morgan County High School and Prof. J. Luther Gibson and Miss Florence Turrentine as assistants. All of the nominations will perhaps be confirmed by the state board of education.

July 4, 1910 – The Fourth of July was celebrated here today without any unsettling incident. For the most part, the day was spent in quiet amusement. At the ballpark, a doubleheader was played between the Hartselle and Sheffield teams. The score of the first game was 4-1 in favor of the locals. The last game was the prettiest and fastest game seen here this season, each side scoring three runs in the seventh inning, and, try as they would, no other runner from either side was ever again able to cross the rubber so it ended in a draw. The largest attendance since the ballpark was built was on hand to see the game.

July 4, 1936 – Since Independence Day falls on a Saturday this year, a majority of Hartselle merchants agreed to stay open today and close instead on Monday, July 6.

July 4, 1937 – The Strand Theatre had a big Fourth of July special today, the movie “Cafe Metropole” with superstars Loretta Young and Tyrone Power.

July 4, 1938 – A fish fry and picnic were held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Murphy on Hartselle Route 3 today. The event honored two of the oldest citizens in the community, Walker Thompson and Henry Murphy. In the afternoon, joke telling and horseback riding were enjoyed by those assembled at the Murphy home.

July 4, 1941 – Paul Thrasher of the U.S. Air Corps, Jacksonville, Fla., was among the soldiers spending the Fourth of July holidays with home folks.

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