Fourth of July In The Early Days

God Bless America CowboyWe all buy generic cialis 20mg have our traditions for Independence Day but what was it like back in the early days?

July 4th was a VERY BIG DEAL.

Shortly after the war for independence ended, certain traditions were born. Everyone wanted to celebrate. Patriotism ran high. It was a day of rejoicing.

The day started something like this:

  • Making noise of some kind, usually started at the crack of dawn
  • A Parade
  • Speeches – VERY long-winded speeches
  • Games – Horse races – Shooting Matches – & maybe a Baseball game
  • Picnics

fourth of JulyAnd it was a tradition for the men to drink, not that they needed much of an excuse. Then there was a tradition to the tradition—making toasts—thirteen of them to be exact to represent the original 13 colonies.

The first toast was always to the current president. The second to George Washington. From there they toasted the governor, mayor, (possibly the mayor’s horse and maybe his dog and children—anything they could think of.)

But the thirteenth toast was to women.

Why was that you ask? Probably in hopes that their wives wouldn’t kill them for getting drunk. I can’t imagine many men even making it to 13 shots of whiskey. But the ones who did, continued on in making voluntary toasts to anything that came to mind.

In some towns, they printed the toasts in the newspaper so those who participated would know beforehand who and what they needed to celebrate.

Fourth of July 1Like I said, men didn’t need much of an excuse to patronize the saloon.

Here’s a bit of trivia for you:

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams (the only signers of the Declaration of Independence who served as president) died on the same day on July 4, 1826 on the 50th anniversary of Independence Day.

James Monroe, who was not a signer of the Declaration, died on July 4, 1831. He was the third president in a row to die on July 4th.

* * *

Okay, it’s time for you to say what your traditions are. Hope you have a great time!!


Website | + posts

Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

23 thoughts on “Fourth of July In The Early Days”

  1. Hi Linda,

    I didn’t know about the thirteen toasts. Glad that tradition faded away.

    Family traditions? My husband goes bonkers every year about this time. He decorates the outside of the house with banners, flags,lights–you name it. It takes him two or three days to decorate.

  2. Wow, 13 toasts. I guess a good excuse to party! I had heard about the president’s deaths on the 4th before. Kinda crazy.
    As for us, we always do the local parade and hang out with family all day (we are always camping local over 4th) and end the day watching the fireworks. Nothing too fancy!

  3. Hi Margaret…….Yes, I’m glad that tradition went by the wayside. I’m sure it saved many a marriage. How wonderful that your husband loves to show his patriotism! I think it’s great and very needful to celebrate our freedom and acknowledge the men and women who fight to keep us free. My heart swells with pride every time I see our flag flying. And I always cry during the Star Spangled Banner.

    I hope you’re having a great time at the booksigning.

  4. Hi Melanie…….Bless you for celebrating our nation’s birthday. I think fireworks are really special. Have a great cookout and just enjoy the day with family.

  5. Hi Susan P……..Simple is good. Nothing wrong with getting together with family and friends and remembering all the things that make us free. We are truly a blessed nation. No wonder so many people want what we have.

  6. How ironic and yet so fitting that several of our early presidents breathed their last on our Independence Day. Fascinating.

    We usually celebrate very quietly. A family backyard barbeque. I’m usually so excited to have a day off, I don’t want to go to much trouble. Just rest and relax. Definitely using paper plates. Ha!

    This year, I’ll also be writing. Deadlines wait for no woman, even on national holidays. Sigh.

  7. Hi Karen……..I found that ironic also. While not always, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the best of friends at the time of their death. And the last words Jefferson wrote as he lay dying were to John Adams. Jefferson didn’t know that Adams had died a few hours earlier. They were bound together in life as well as death. Such a wonderful story.

    Have fun with your family and good luck with meeting your deadline!

  8. I grew up in a small town in Calif. where 4th of July was a big deal! The parade was a big deal and our church always had a float. We worked on it for weeks ahead of time and we always won first place! It was by far, the best one! We didn’t do it for the glory though, it was such a fun project and everyone pitched in…such great memories! Then, all the young girls had a “marching routine” and we worked on that for weeks too – matching outfits that our mothers made. SUCH fantastic memories! After the parade the whole town gathered in the park for picnic lunches and games. At night we all went to the high school area and watched the fireworks – or the hills around it! I miss it!

  9. Linda,

    That’s very interesting about the 13 toasts and the order they were made in. I love trivia! LOL I did know about Jefferson and Adams–that was so ironic–but I didn’t know about Monroe!

    I’m really enjoying this week of posts — celebrating the birth of our nation.

    I always loved the 4th of July celebrations as a kid because my birthday is on the 28th, so I knew MY celebration was on the way! LOL

    Great post–I really did enjoy this. No real traditions left now that the kids are grown. I always remember what fun we had though, when they were young, going to watch the fireworks and cooking out.


  10. Our cul de sac has a big block party, but since we’ve become grandparents, we usually go out of town with the grandbabies. There’s always a fireworks somewhere, and the beach.

    How I loved learning about the 13 toasts!

    As for me, when I was little, my grandma’s town allowed fireworks and I SO loved those sparklers! And those funky black pellets that you lit and they grew into “snakes.”

    Happy Fourth of July, Linda. xoxo

  11. I love this blog, Linda. Wonderful info. I did know about John Adams and Thomas Jefferson — good info.

  12. I learn such interesting facts from the Fillies!! Thank you.
    Traditions change over the years. I already spoke of childhood days. Our closest friends and our family went every year to a nearby town for the “Big Bang Boom” as it was called then. Held a local man made lake, there would be thousands of people from area towns. The shows for several years were set up by the same brothers that do NY and Washington DC shows. Now however it is done by a local gentleman who was trained by them. At first it was done by Local brothers, the Carliles who had an interest in pyrotectics.

  13. Hi Valri…….That parade sounds like lots of fun. That’s the beauty of small towns. They have so much more to offer and everything has deeper meaning. You must’ve had a time growing up in such a great place. Enjoy your Independence Day celebrations!

  14. Hi Cheryl……..I understand perfectly about family traditions kinda going by the wayside when all the kids leave home. We used to have a cookout at the lake and set off fireworks every 4th of July. Now it’s just me and I don’t do anything. I guess that’s how it is though.

    Hope you have a good time whatever you do!

  15. Hi Tanya……..Oh I think a block party would be so much fun! Wish our neighborhood did something like that. Sadly, I don’t even know any of my neighbors except for one little lady. Makes me sad to how times have changed. When I was growing up, all the adults sat on their porches visiting with each other while the kids played until bedtime. That was a very special time.

    Enjoy celebrating with the kids and grands!

  16. Hi Connie J………I’m glad you enjoyed my blog and I could tell you some things you might not’ve known. The Big Bang Boom sounds like so much fun. I’m sure the firework displays were simply breathtaking and gave the crowd so much enjoyment. I think it’s very wonderful for the local gentleman to keep up the tradition.

    Have a wonderful 4th of July!!

  17. Love this post, Linda! The Fillies are sure getting me in the mood to celebrate America, of course that doesn’t take much. I’ve never heard about the thirteen toasts, and I agree it was probably to appease the ladies giving them the skunk eye for getting sloshed. 🙂


  18. Intetesting post, Linda! I knew that John Adams Thomas Jefferson but I didn’t know about James Madison.
    We usually just have a cookout with the fam and then take the kids to see the fireworks.

Comments are closed.