Published in the Interest of the Staunton Community for Over 143 Years

State Celebrated Fourth Of July With Big Events 180 Years Ago

By Tom Emery

Today in Illinois and elsewhere, the Fourth of July is a holiday for boating, barbecues, and fireworks. Over 180 years ago, the celebrations were more scripted and formal, though fireworks were always a constant.

Back then, revelry on July 4 was an all-day affair, complete with processions, bands, and a multitude of speakers. The events were large and sweeping, and most of the town took part.

In many events, the men of the town gathered at a local tavern or hotel for dinner, complete with thirteen formal toasts – one for each of the original colonies. Though thirteen is an unlucky...


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