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July 2001 Vol. XXX No. 10
Thursday, July 12 @ 7:00 p.m.
LHG Meeting, Carnegie Bldg.
Sat. & Sun., July 14 & 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day Art Under the Oaks at Alden Lane Nursery. Over 40 artists will be demonstrating and displaying their work. Local wineries will be pouring tastes of area vintages. The ever popular fruit tasting will also be held.
LHG is reordering both kinds of light bulb T-shirts. You can come in and prepay and we will save one for you (or call and then mail us a check).
LHG needs workers to man the History Center on Thursdays from 3 until 8:00 on Farmers' Market Thursdays until the Fall. We are always looking for people to help man thc History Center Thursday through Sunday every week. We can also use people to help at the Garage and the History Center once in awhile for general. cleaning and dusting.
We accept donations for our annual auction all year. We thank those who have given donations already! A great big thank you from the Auction Crew to Lynn and his wife for being auctioneer and spotter and for the donations, help, attending, bidding, all helping make the auction a great success as well as a lot of fun.
Excerpted from Livermore Herald, July 1, 1955
Reflections by M.R. Henry
Of all American holidays, Fourth of July has changed the most, both in the actual observance and the influence its observance has on the public.
People in the fifties and older remember the Fourth of July as the exciting day of the year, the day to look forward to and to remember, second only to Christmas, which, incidentally, has not changed at all. There was noise and excitement, a parade, and orator who, truly "made the eagle scream," foot races, bicycle races, a greased pig contest, dancing, horribles, firecrackers, roman candles, and skyrockets to end an exciting day. Livermore, Pleasanton and Centerville alternated in holding Fourth of July celebrations on a somewhat irregular schedule. Every small town could be depended upon to be holding a celebration or planning one for next year.
Even if there were no celebration, everyone could make his own noise with a supply of fireworks, which usually caused enough accidents and fires to guarantee excitement. People stayed at home in those days and were satisfied with simpler pleasures. There was less on their minds so they remembered American victories in war to a greater extent than today Their thinking was more concentrated on the United States as a nation. This Fourth of July thinking prevailed until about the time of World War I when Americans became more would minded, as it became increasingly clear that we were becoming the outstanding world power and must, therefore, become involved in the affairs of other nations, During and after that war came the deluge of everyday activity, brought on largely by the increased use of autos, and the old ways of life began to lose their hold.
For the most part whatever there is left of the old-time Fourth of July celebration is the community picnic, a quiet, restful affair appealing more to the older folks, who ware entirely satisfied that there are no giant crackers exploded under a can, without threat of injury to a mob of boys crowding closely around the H-bomb of half a century ago. These boys of today can play with sparklers, the chief of police says. For Fourth of July at least they would trade television, radio, fast cars and whatever else 1955 has to offer for cannon crackers and sky rockets of their own.

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Americans are not less patriotic, their attitude is simply that of changed times, as is so widely prevalent in all human endeavors But, still, contemplation of the glories of the past, which made possible the glories of today, is laudable. No better time than the Fourth of July and no better method than a review of the opening paragraphs of that stirring document, the Declaration of Independence, adopted on that first Independence Day, July 4, 1776: "When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

There is the transcendent Fourth of July thought. "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." A thought as significant today as on July 4, 1776.

Excerpled from Livennore Hcrald. July 2.1954
Old-Time 4th of July, Celebration Lively Celebration

Next Monday the Fourth of July holiday will be a quiet day in Livermore and most small towns and cities, but there was it tine when it was periodically the liveliest day, of the year, celebrated in the true spirit of Independence Day.

Typical of Fourth of July celebrations as they were held up to almost the start of World War I was that staged by Livermore in 1899.

First event of the day was the firing of the town cannon. a duty performed through the years by the late George Huff, a town character who took his part seriously. The cannon is now at rest at the city corporation yard.

In those days. Livermore was a hot spot for bicycle racing and the program opened at 8 30 a.m. with races on Lizzie Street, now South Livermore Avenue. Distances ranged front a quarter of a mile to five miles and world records were established on several occaslons.

The parade was at 10:30, followed by the patriotic literary exercises at which the orator of the day, the lale Judge Lincoln S. Church in this instance, made the eagle scream in fashion appropriate for the time.

Dancing followed from 2:30 to 4:30 and then the fun began for the livelier young men, with foot racing, greased pole climbing, tug-of-war between Livermore and Pleasanton and the event-of-events the "Horribles" parade when the town cut-ups had their fun

In the evening was the illuminated and decorated bicycle parade at 8:30. with the grand ball concluding the day.

No greater honor than to be selected for one of the special official positions of the day. Those for the 1899 celebration having been Goddess of Liberty. Miss Ada Jordan, now Mrs. Ada Jordan Pray of Durham; George Washington, Chris A. Buckley, Jr. now of Pebble Beach; Marlha Washington. Miss Anita Aylward. now Mrs. Anita Clarke of Oakland; President of the day. the late D.J. Murphy; Grand Marshal, the latc J.O. McKown; Reader of the Declaration of Independence. the late Miss Leah McLeod. later Mrs. L.M. MacDonald.

The young boys shot off fire crackers from the break of day until evening fell when they turned to the sky rockets and roman candles, one grand sport not available to the youngsters of today.

No town held a celebaration every year, which was fortunate as the event would have become common place and anticipation and memories would have been lacking. Livermore celebrated next in 1904 and again in 1907.

Livermore, Pleasanton, Niles, and Tracy alternated more or less regularly. providing a celebration within train travel every year or two.

The fast travelfor long distanceswas lacking. but not missed for no one knew anything about what was to come. and both memories and the rccords will prove that the dangers of firecrackcrs. even the cannon crackers which blew tin cans high in the air did not equal the auto travel of today.


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June 30, 2001