The Vicksburg 4th Of July Celebration, Was It Really 80 years?

ucvrelics

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Most everyone knows that Vicksburg fell on July 4th 1863 and that staunch Southerners refused to celebrate the 4th for a very long time. There were no fireworks, no picnics, no days off work. The post office didn’t even close on the 4th of July in Vicksburg for decades. In reality the 4th of July celebration went on but it was mostly in the African American community. Most of these event were held outside of Vicksburg. The first "Official" celebration took the end of WW2 to get it restarted. It was so well received and attended the next year 1946 it was a 2 day event and billed as the Carnival Of The Confederacy. After a few years of these type celebrations it waned and it really wasn't until the Bicentennial in 1976 that it got back on track with the rest of the country. Below are a few articles and advertisements for 4th Of July celebrations in Vicksburg.

All the high-toned colored people that reside for miles around’ excurted on on the steamer Cherokee yesterday to Anthony’s Ferry, in celebration of the glorious fourth. A colored picnic on DeSoto Island was also a strong feature of the days celebrations in the Hill City. (The Vicksburg Herald, July 5, 1884)
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Many Vicksburgers will participate in the celebration of Independence Day today. A barbecue and picnic at Swett’s Pond will be the chief feature of attraction during the day and tonight, beginning at 8:30 o’clock, an appropriate and patriotic program will be presented at the Carnegie Library…Many of the stores of the city will close during the afternoon hours, in order to allow their clerks to attend the barbecue. Conveyances will operate between the grounds and city throughout the day. (The Vicksburg Herald, July 4, 1918)

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Seduzal

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Thanks for sharing this article. I heard about this before it was in the early 1970’s that Vicksburg was just to getting be into celebrating again 4 th of July after the fall of the city to Union forces during the Battle for Vicksburg.
 

Tom Hughes

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Most everyone knows that Vicksburg fell on July 4th 1863 and that staunch Southerners refused to celebrate the 4th for a very long time. There were no fireworks, no picnics, no days off work. The post office didn’t even close on the 4th of July in Vicksburg for decades. In reality the 4th of July celebration went on but it was mostly in the African American community. Most of these event were held outside of Vicksburg. The first "Official" celebration took the end of WW2 to get it restarted. It was so well received and attended the next year 1946 it was a 2 day event and billed as the Carnival Of The Confederacy. After a few years of these type celebrations it waned and it really wasn't until the Bicentennial in 1976 that it got back on track with the rest of the country. Below are a few articles and advertisements for 4th Of July celebrations in Vicksburg.

All the high-toned colored people that reside for miles around’ excurted on on the steamer Cherokee yesterday to Anthony’s Ferry, in celebration of the glorious fourth. A colored picnic on DeSoto Island was also a strong feature of the days celebrations in the Hill City. (The Vicksburg Herald, July 5, 1884)
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Many Vicksburgers will participate in the celebration of Independence Day today. A barbecue and picnic at Swett’s Pond will be the chief feature of attraction during the day and tonight, beginning at 8:30 o’clock, an appropriate and patriotic program will be presented at the Carnegie Library…Many of the stores of the city will close during the afternoon hours, in order to allow their clerks to attend the barbecue. Conveyances will operate between the grounds and city throughout the day. (The Vicksburg Herald, July 4, 1918)

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Thanks for sharing this. Very interesting indeed. The citizenry of Vicksburg probably suffered more than any other during the civil war with the 1862 bombardment and 1863 siege. Glad to see they finally celebrated at long last.
 


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