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Celebrating the Fourth on the Fifth

 

This year, for the thirty-third time since the nation began celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th will fall on a Sunday, which means parades and other events will likely occur on Monday, July 5th. In an era when most holidays have been engineered to occur on Mondays – making for several long weekends during the course of the year – shifting the date doesn’t seem particularly controversial. It hasn’t always been that way.

Avoiding a conflict with the Sabbath has often been a concern, but Monday wasn’t always the chosen alternative. In the 19th century, Columbia, South Carolina, and Marblehead, Massachusetts, chose Saturday celebrations, with few apparent objections. However, in 1999, when a Mesa, Arizona, club staged its annual fireworks display on Saturday night, July 3rd, complaints poured in. And some residents expressed annoyance in Rockledge Borough, Pennsylvania, when that town’s officials held the Fourth of July parade a day early. Historically, most official patriotic celebrations have been moved to Monday, July 5th, without noticeable protest.

No matter which day you choose to honor the patriots who 234 years ago founded our country, and the troops who through the years have sacrificed so much to maintain the nation’s independence – and whether you’re planning a simple family gathering around the dining table, a backyard cookout or have much more elaborate plans – I wish you a thoroughly entertaining and pleasant occasion.


About Frazier Allen

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