Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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.
Photographed 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.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Patriots & Patriotism. A significant historical year for this entry is 1783.
 
Location. 36° 5.23′ N, 80° 14.49′ W. Marker is in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in Forsyth County. Marker is on Main Street. Marker located in courtyard in front of Salem College in Old Salem, between Church and Main Streets. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Winston Salem NC 27101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Salem Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); Salem Square (within shouting distance of this marker); The Salem Campus (within shouting distance of this marker); Street Grade (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Single Brothers' Diaconie (about 300 feet away); Commemorating the Original Krispy Kreme Doughnut Shop
The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael C. Wilcox, April 9, 2012
2. The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
(about 300 feet away); Garden on the Triebel Lot (about 400 feet away); Rt. Rev. Edw. Rondthaler, D.D. (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winston-Salem.
 
Additional commentary.
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
The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael C. Wilcox, April 9, 2012
3. The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker
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 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.
 
The First Official 4th of July Celebration in the United States Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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.
Photographed 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 was last revised on March 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 9, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 832 times since then and 21 times this year. Last updated on April 15, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 9, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=54485

Paid Advertisements
 
 

May. 21, 2022