• 59°

A simple observance of the country’s 100th birthday

Danvillians celebrated 100th anniversary of our independence in July 1876 and continue to observe the July 4th holiday in various ways from picnics, church and military services, singing and flying flags.

“The good people of Danville did not permit the hundredth anniversary of our independence to pass unnoticed,” according to an article in The Kentucky Advocate.

“The spirit of patriotism abroad in the land had an outcropping here, and the result was an old-time celebration that was very creditable, considering the short time of preparation.

“It was not finally concluded until last Friday to attempt any sort of observance of the day, but owing mainly to the efforts of Dr. Samuel Aryes, and several other good citizens, a program was agreed upon that was simple and unostentatious.”

The national colors — red, white and blue — were thrown across Main Street, and at a given signal, as soon as the clock struck 12, announcing the ushering of the “glorious Fourth”, the “anvil artillery” belched forth a noisy chorus.

During the day, business was generally suspended and houses closed.

An audience was convened at 10 a.m. at Second Street Presbyterian Church. Dr. Ayers briefly explained the object of the meeting and prayer was by Dr. Archibald.

Dr. Hays read the Declaration of Independence, speeches were by J.C.Young and John S. VanWinkle. Songs included national odes — “My Country, ”Tis of Thee” and the “Star Spangled Banner.”

The Rev. H.J. Perry led the benediction.

Exercises were appropriate and had the happy effect of bringing together the people, without distinction of party, to participate in a celebration after the primitive style.

Organizers said with more preparation they may have had a more imposing affair but were glad to place upon record even “this simple observance of the country’s 100th birthday.

“No matter what may be our party feeling, we have a common country and a common destiny.

“The glories of the past and the hopes of the future belong to us all, and it is well enough to bring people together on these patriotic occasions to renew their allegiance around a common alter.”