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Winston-Salem in Forsyth County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States

 
 
The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, April 9, 2012
1. The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker
Inscription.
Commemorating
The First Official
4th of July Celebration
In the United States
At Salem, North Carolina, 1783
* * *
This Plaque Unveiled In The
200th Anniversary Year
Of Winston-Salem
July 4, 1966

 
Erected 1966.
 
Location. 36° 5.23′ N, 80° 14.49′ W. Marker is in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in Forsyth County. Marker is on Main Street. Click for map. Marker located in courtyard in front of Salem College in Old Salem, between Church and Main Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Winston Salem NC 27101, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Salem Concert Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Mickey Coffee Pot (approx. 0.3 miles away); Washington's Southern Tour (approx. 0.3 miles away); Salem Cotton Manufacturing Company and Arista Cotton Mill (approx. 0.4 miles away); Salem Moravian Graveyard (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Salem Moravian Graveyard (approx. 0.4 miles away); Salem Town Hall (approx. 0.4 miles away); R. J. Reynolds (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Winston-Salem.
 
Also see . . .  Naturalization Ceremony 2012
The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, April 9, 2012
2. The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker
. (Submitted on April 9, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.)
 
Additional comments.
1.
Wikipedia:

In 1781 the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.

In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held a celebration of July 4 with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled "The Psalm of Joy".

Taken alone, the Wikipedia snippets corroborate the marker's claim. However, another site
(http://www1.american.edu/heintze/fourth.htm)
states that in 1781 "The first official state celebration as recognized under resolve of a legislature occurs in Massachusetts", but no specifics are given about the celebration itself.

Questions that come to mind:
1. There were official declarations made about the 4th "as a celebration", but were there any official *celebrations*? (i.e. Who celebrated? Where exactly? How did they celebrate? What, if any, music was performed?)

2. There appear to have been celebrations before 1783, but were these celebrations *official*?

In lieu of specific evidence of a *celebration* that was *official* occurring prior to the celebration in Salem
The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, April 9, 2012
3. The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker
in 1783, it seems the claim of marker stands. I will add any new evidence I find, and invite others to do the same. Evidence Wins.

Full Disclosure: I'm a long-time Winston-Salem resident, but have also lived in Massachusetts (Belchertown & Amherst). Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted April 10, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

 
Categories. Patriots & Patriotism
 
The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, April 9, 2012
4. The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker
Entrance to Salem College image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, February 2, 2012
5. Entrance to Salem College
4th of July marker is located in the courtyard in the foreground, off-camera just beyond the right of the frame.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 675 times since then and 33 times this year. Last updated on , by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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