The 4th of July has become synonymous with Fireworks and BBQ’s but here are a few things you may not know about Independence Day in Ohio and across the nation.
Business leaders of the time in the early 1800’s held the 4th of July as a true day of freedom from the oppressive crown and many building and business projects were started on that day. The Ohio Erie canal and the National Railroad broke ground in Ohio. “On July 4, 1825 in St. Clairsville, opposite the old courthouse, groundbreaking ceremonies were being held for construction of the National Road in Ohio. On the very same day, just south of Newark at Licking Summit, groundbreaking for the Ohio & Erie Canal began.”
At Fort Meigs in 1813, Ohio soldiers took pause to commemorate and celebrate our nation's birth as they defended it yet again. “This morning at sunrise we fired thirteen guns in honor of the 4th of July, 1776. At 1 o'clock we fired eighteen, the National salute, they were all fired from two brass twelve pounders. After the firing was over the officers all repaired to a large bower prepared by Lieut. Hawkins near the lower magazine and partook of a fine dinner... There were 18 toasts drank.” Fort Meigs is hosting their annual July 4th festivities. Check it out HERE.
On July 2nd, while traveling, President James Garfield was shot twice and spent his only Independence day as President in bed in his Mentor home being treated for his wounds. Sadly he never recovered and died from infection from those wounds three months later.
The Home of President Rutherford Hayes in Freemont Ohio hosts an annual patriotic concert on the lawn of the estate. Get information to attend HERE
President William McKinley had variety in his July 4th Schedule, from leading the nation thru the Spanish American war to Celebrating in Canton, Ohio in the City’s Independence Day Parade. Read More HERE.
One of the most fascinating stories comes from our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. As everyone knows, both were instrumental in our Declaration of Independence and other founding documents. Both were friends (later in life), yet political rivals. Both served as President and Vice President. Here is what you may not know. After both men left politics, they became dear friends and communicated weekly thru now famous letters between Boston and Charlottesville, sharing ideas and news. As the nation was planning for a huge celebration planning for the 50th anniversary of the signing of the declaration, unknown to each other, Jefferson and Adams BOTH fell ill and their health was failing. Adams was determined to see the Anniversary and fought through his ailments. On the evening of July 4th 1826, as a nation was hosting grand celebrations in Honor of only 3 men still living who signed the famous document, John Adams realized his death was near and uttered the words “Thomas Jefferson still survives”, slipped into an unresponsive state and died.. However, the news had not reached Boston that Jefferson died just hours earlier at his home in Monticello.
As YOU host your celebrations this weekend take the time to realize the importance and value of this day. Share some of these stories and be inspired to take the lead in our state.