FOURTH OF JULY
On July Fourth 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia and we thank that our great nation was born upon that day. Birthdays are celebrated by nearly every one, so why not celebrate the birthday of our nation? It has been the custom ever since then to celebrate in some way and frequently someone will make a speech or the Declaration would be read, amid lots of applause and shouts. This was done in early day and much applause and shouts.
This was done in early day and much applause was raised by the speaker. Did you ever read it?
It is well worth your time and effort to read it.
The most fitting and beautiful celebration I ever saw was at the west end of Second Street east of the river, and west of Perry street. Dr. J. S. Frizell, a druggist and father of W. G. Frizell, an attorney of Dayton, was the prime mover of this parade, of the children living upon those two squares. At that time, he lived in the last house on the north side of Second street and they had a large triangular lot running to the levee along the river.
All children were invited to be in it and allowed to decorate as they or their parents desired. A family could all be together or separated as they thought best, but all were decorated with flags or bunting as suited them. Sometimes the mother would decorate herself and carry her baby in her arms or place it in a baby cab or toy wagon and have the children pull it around.
Sometimes a boy would make a wagon much like the soap box autos that we see now days. It would be decorated and made to resemble artillery or the fire department, and the boys drawing it would all be dressed in uniform to match the outfit.
A girl riding in a cab and nursing her doll was always cute.
My first trip was when one of my brothers hauled me in a cab.
It was a two wheeled affair with wheels about two feet in diameter, with a tongue sticking out in front with a standard under it, to hold it when not in use, and it could be pulled or pushed as was most convenient. The body was very light and an oil cloth top covered it but the top could be raised or lowered as suited the occasion. This was very common at that time but now none like it are ever seen. This parade would form across the street from Frizell’s home and march up that side walk to Perry and then cross and come back upon the other side.
All along the line of march, people would be sitting out to watch the parade and would clap for their friends or anything that pleased them particularly. Frequently people from other parts of town would visit friends living there in order to see the parade, for it was interesting. When back to Frizell’s we went into their yard and were given popcorn, lemonade or other refreshments. Then games such as drop the handkerchief would be played until dark. Then a display of fireworks was given such as sky rockets, roman candles, pin wheels, etc. pointed toward the river to avoid danger of fire.
Small prizes were given to the most popular exhibitors.
Was this not a much better way of celebrating, than is done now, shooting crackers all day long and making every one nervous and uncomfortable with the terrible noise. Later Dr. Frizell built another home near by but since it did not have the large yard, he gave up, the parade and it was discontinued.
Charles F. Sullivan
114 E. Idaho St. Apt. C
November 26, 1943