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A look back at the Fourth

This weekend will be the highlight as far as either celebrating at home or vacationing on the mountains or seashore is concerned! July 4! This is a holiday all Americans will use for maximum enjoyment, even while remembering the sacrifices our Forefathers made to establish thirteen often dissident colonies as one independent Nation—the United States of America. Since Hartselle was not founded until after the Civil War and shortly before Reconstruction ended, it was not difficult for the residents of the new community to proclaim their undivided loyalty to the American Union and the Stars and Bars. What follows illustrate some of the ways in which our new town’s forefathers celebrated the Fourth.

July 4, 1892–Today’s Fourth of July celebrations in Hartselle included foot races, sock races, an old man’s race, wheel-barrow races, mutual races, etc. The site of the festivities was Parker Grover near old Hartselle. Chester Lee won the prize for the greasy pole climb.

July 4, 1894—Jim Stewart, son of Mr. and Mrs. Histaspas Stewart, took home a new pair of bicycle shoes as a result of winning the half-mile bicycle race in today’s Hartselle Fourth of July celebrations.

July 4, 1901—Several Decatur youth spent the Fourth here. The Enquirer took notes that, “There were other attractions than the celebration. Pretty girls!”

July 3, 1903—Towns and cities all over Alabama are making extensive plans to celebrate the Fourth of July. Many excursions and barbecues have been planned.

July 3, 1908—Baseball will provide the main holiday entertainment as Hartselle plays host to the team from Prospect. Tennessee, team for its big Fourth game. Dunaway will be the starting pitcher for Hartselle.

July 4, 1908—A large number of Danville young folks attended the Fourth of July picnic Penn’s School House today.

July 4, 1938—A big holiday fish fry and picnic was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Murphy on Hartselle Route 3 today. The two main honorees of this event, two elderly gentlemen, Walker Thompson and Henry Murphy, had many stories to tell about Fourth of July celebrations “the way they used to be.”

July 4, 1958—A Hartselle taxi driver was arrested at home on Highway 36 today as he was apparently getting ready to deliver some goods designed to enhance a party on Independence Day. The wildcat whiskey was temporarily stored in a churn but now it is at Hartselle police HQ.

July 4, 1959—The new U.S flag with 49 stars (representing Alaska as the 49th state) was raised for the first time in Hartselle today. No Hartselle flag owners have any of the new flags, however.

Oct. 25, 1960—Not wanting to be called party-poopers, the Hartselle City Council, concerned with the safety of residents, nonetheless made it illegal to possess or store firecrackers in the city limits or police jurisdiction. It is quite awhile before Christmas or the Fourth of July so it is probable that citizens will not give this new ordinance much thought until the next firecracker-shooting holiday rolls around and they suddenly find themselves in violation of it.

July 4, 2014—The Spirit of America fireworks display at Point Mallard will go down as one of the most beautiful and spectacular ever. The blue waters of the Tennessee River added immensely to the pleasure of this evening as the ignited fireworks reflected over its pristine surface. The SOA display is without a doubt one of the largest in the country which requires no payment in order to witness. For those who were unable to view the fireworks display on line it was also possible to view it on Clear Channel communications online.

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