July 4, 1776 >> July 4, 1879
July 4, 1776
When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical.
By the middle of the following year, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in the bestselling pamphlet “Common Sense,” published by Thomas Paine in early 1776.
On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence.
John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest.
Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution, but appointed a five-man committee—including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York—to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.
On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”
On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.
Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
July 4, 1879
Independence day has a double meaning here in our charming city of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The city of Eureka Springs was first founded and named on July 4, 1879. Today our Eureka is known for its rich Victorian history, bustling tourism, radical inclusion and friendly locals. It is very easy to walk the historic streets and feel transported back in time to 1879.
The city was formally founded, when Judge Levi Best Saunders, of Berryville, AR built the first house, and more people arrived every day to take advantage of the springs.
O. D. Thornton built the first general store in 1879. Captain Joseph Perry, owner of hotels across the United States, built a four-story hotel, the Perry House, in 1881. Although the city population remained under 4,000 people, thousands more came to the Eureka Springs area and set up housing, often small wooden shacks on the hillsides surrounding the sixty-two springs of the area. The rapid construction of wooden houses—as well as more than fifty hotels, boarding houses, and businesses—made the young community vulnerable to fire, and major fires struck the city in 1883, 1888, 1890, and 1893. Improvements in the city fire department and construction of buildings out of stone rather than wood helped to reduce the danger of fire after those years.
The Fourth of July in Eureka Springs is filled with that old-fashioned Americana charm that is fun for the whole family.
The Fourth of July celebration starts off in Eureka with an old-fashioned 4th of July parade. The Parade starts at 10 a.m. and includes a best-dressed dog contest, the crowning of the Ms. Apple Pie and Mr. Firecracker, a watermelon seed spitting contest, hot dogs, apple pie and more! Everyone is invited join in the parade. Following the parade, the seed spitting contest takes place in the parking lot between the Auditorium and the Courthouse every year.
Basin Spring Park hosts our complimentary summer music series and during Fourth of July weekend, festivities in 2019 this music series will feature Crusade and The Big Hog Band from 5pm-7pm.
Crusade & The Big Hog Band is a Fayetteville, AR based jazz group known for traditional jazz, funk, swing band, soul, and fusion. The group is comprised with players of diverse musical backgrounds ranging from classical to gospel to rock & roll, and jazz. They're influenced by Stevie Wonder, Oscar Peterson, Yellow Jackets, Snarky Puppy, Frank Sinatra, Bill Withers, and many others. Individually, all of the musicians bring award winning talent, and all have been featured on the national level. They’ve shared the stage with talents such as Platters’ Myles Savage, Blind Boys of Alabama, Ben Tankard, and Paul Jackson Jr., to name a few. Together, these musicians put on a fun and engaging show that all ages will enjoy.
At Dusk We Light Up The Sky
The Eureka Springs City Fireworks Display will happen at dusk (approx. 9:00pm) on Saturday 7/6/2019.
The fireworks will blast off from Marble Flats and everyone will be able to see them from almost anywhere in Eureka Springs!
Happy Birthday America and Happy Birthday Eureka Springs!
(July 4, 2019)