Tuesday, July 2, 2013

4th of July 2013 Historical Happenings

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Thursday, July 4 - Ringwood, Passaic County
July 4th Celebration

Looking for something fun and educational to do with the family on Independence Day this year? Come to Ringwood Manor for the annual Declaration of Independence celebration! On Thursday, July 4, 2013, Ringwood State Park will mark its 14th year holding the Independence Day event. The event features a dramatic delivery and reading of the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the Manor’s porch along with colonial activities and demonstrations. Revolutionary War reenactors from New Jersey Militia- Heard’s Brigade, the 35th Royal Sussex Regiment, the Friends of Long Pond Ironworks, and individual reenactors help celebrate the 237th anniversary of American independence and bring the experience to life. The Declaration of Independence was formally adopted on July 4th, 1776. News of its creation spread to the colonists in America through traditional public readings in large, open places such as town squares, churches, and taverns. The first public reading of the document was to a crowd in Philadelphia on July 8th, 1776, four days after its creation. A day later, it was first read aloud to Washington’s Continental troops in New York City. The celebration at Ringwood Manor attempts to recreate the same excitement first felt when colonists heard those famous words 236 years ago. 

The festivities will begin in front of Ringwood Manor at 1:00 pm, when colonial era toys and games will be available for children to play with. Young and old can sign their “John Hancock” on a copy of the Declaration using a traditional quill pen and ink. Colonial crafters, demonstrations, and displays will help to create an atmosphere of a town square in front of Ringwood Manor. The ceremony itself will begin at 2:00 pm with a short introduction about the history of the area and the Declaration of Independence. A lively debate among members of the crowd will break out, involving British soldiers, area Loyalists, and the supporters of the cause for independence, the colonial rebels. After the debate concludes, the local militia unit will form and muster up. Soon after, the Declaration will be delivered to the front steps of Ringwood Manor by a horse and rider. The document will then be read to the crowd at 2:30 pm. Visitors are encouraged to listen closely and cheer and jeer during the reading. Following the reading there will be a traditional flag raising. Again this year, the “Hopkinson” flag will be used for the event. Believed to be the first version of the new country’s flag, it was designed by and named after New Jersey’s own Francis Hopkinson. After the flag is raised, there will be a ceremonial musket volley and the bell at Ringwood Manor will be rung thirteen times to conclude the ceremony. 

The public is encouraged to stay after the ceremony as the celebration continues. Children are encouraged to join the Continental Army and learn military drills. 18th century baked goods and colonial items will be available to purchase from the Sugar Loaf Baking Company and Lady Ellen’s Fine Wares. Free watermelon slices are available to everyone who attends. All are welcome to join the fun!

There is no charge for the Independence Day celebration. There is, however, a parking fee to enter Ringwood State Park of $5 for in-state residents, and $7 for out-of-state residents. The event will take place rain or shine. Please be aware that Ringwood Manor house museum is currently closed to the public and tours will not be available during the event. Ringwood Manor is located at 1304 Sloatsburg Road  Ringwood, NJ. Independence Day at Ringwood Manor is sponsored by the North Jersey Highlands Historical Society and the Ringwood State Park staff. For  more information, call 973-962-7031 ext. 0 or visit www.ringwoodmanor.com.

Thursday, July 4  - Princeton, Mercer County
July 4th Jubilee

Celebrate July 4th at Morven, the former home of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence! This FREE family event will take place on the front lawn from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm! The Riverside Bluegrass Band will be performing on the front porch and various activities including Stacy Flora Roth presenting, “A Garland of Colonial Songs and Ballads,” a discussion with “George Washington” as he shares personal letters, an opportunity for children of all ages to “sign” the Declaration of Independence, games and MORE! Oink & Moo BBQ will also be on-site to provide refreshments! Morven Museum & Gardens is located at 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ. www.morven.org

Thursday, July 4  - Morristown, Morris County
Revolutionary Times Weekend

Celebrate Fourth of July at Revolutionary Times in Morristown this Thursday. As part of the celebration, the reading of Declaration of Independence which is usually held at Washington's Headquarters in Morristown National Historical Park (MNHP), will be recited at 12:30 pm by MNHP staff on the Morristown Green followed by family fun, crafts, games and music by the Morris Music Men Barbershop Quartet. Local dignitaries will be on hand to toast the 80th Anniversary of the opening of America's first national historical park, Morristown National Historical Park. In addition, the Town of Morristown has generously agreed to sponsor a dazzling fireworks display for the public to enjoy at Lewis Morris Park, where there will be music and picnicking. This family-friendly event supports the "liberty" theme in advance of New Jersey's 2014 celebration of its 350th Anniversary and is dedicated to raising awareness of the role that Morristown area played in the Revolutionary War. The festivities in downtown Morristown conclude at 3:00 pm. Parking is free in downtown Morristown on July 4th. Call 973-539-2016 ext 210 for more information. www.morristourism.org

Thursday, July 4 - Tuckerton, Ocean County
Baby Parade, Music, and Fireworks

Brings the kids to Tuckerton Seaport at 4:00 pm on July 4th for the Baby Parade. Dress to impress in red, white, and blue. Then stay for kids activities 4:00 - 6:00 pm and the live bands from 5:00 - 9:00 pm. Fireworks at dusk! All free of charge. Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum is located at 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ. For more information, call 609-296-8868 or visit www.tuckertonseaport.org.

Thursday, July 4 - Freehold, Monmouth County
Declaration of Independence Annual Reading

Stop in Freehold Borough on July 4th as volunteers gather on the steps of Borough Hall at 9:00 am for the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence. The fire bell will ring fifty times to commemorate each State in the Union; the flag will be raised, and the Pledge of Allegiance will be recited. The brief ceremony will conclude with a stirring rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. If you would like to read a portion of the Declaration, please get to the site by 8:30 am, and you will be provided with a copy of the document. Freehold Borough Hall is located at 51 West Main Street, Freehold, NJ. www.freeholdboro.org 

Thursday, July 4  - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Independence Day Celebration

Independence Day was a festive time in the 1890s at Longstreet Farm. Patriotism was celebrated with music, games and good picnic food. Join the staff at Longstreet Farm on July 4th as they celebrate the holiday with games and contests from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm. Historic Longstreet Farm is located at 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ. For more information, call 732-946-3758 or visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com.

Thursday, July 4 - Trenton, Mercer County
Patriotic Music Choral Concert

Returning by popular demand to the historic 1719 William Trent House Museum! Bring a picnic and enjoy the grounds of the oldest building in our state capital. Enjoy a special outdoor choral concert of patriotic music by the Trenton Capital Singers, directed by Richard Loatman. The grounds will open at 5:30 pm and the first floor of the Trent House Museum will be open for special evening tours. Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. Music will begin at 7:00 and last until 8:30 pm.

Built in 1719 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the magnificent Trent House is restored and carefully furnished as it would have been in the early 18th century. Located at 15 Market Street in Trenton, NJ adjacent to the Hughes Justice Complex. Ample free parking. For more information, call 609-989-0087 or visit www.williamtrenthouse.orgRefer to the website in the case of inclement weather.

Thursday, July 4 Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

On Thursday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, celebrate Independence Day in the 1776 setting of Historic Walnford’s main house. They will have the quill pens sharpened and the inkwells filled for you to scribe your own declaration of independence or bill of rights, as you reflect on the words of our founding citizens. While there, tour the historic mill and outbuildings. This event is FREE. Historic Walnford is located at 62 Walnford Road, Upper Freehold, NJ. http://www.monmouthcountyparks.com

Thursday, July 4 - Fort Lee, Bergen County
Independence Day Celebration

Celebrate Independence Day at Fort Lee Historic Park, with cannon firing, musket demonstrations, games, music, and more from 2:00 - 4:00 pm! Admission to the event is free but there is a $5.00 parking fee. Fort Lee Historic Park is located at Henry Hudson Drive in Fort Lee, just south of the George Washington Bridge. For more information, call 201 461-1776 or visit www.njpalisades.org

Thursday, July 4 - Cape May, Cape May County
Book Signing

Please join the Emlen Physick Estate in welcoming Dr. Joseph Salvatore and Joan Berkey and their recently published book US Coast Guard Training Center at Cape MayCommissioned as Navy Section Base 9 in 1917, the US Coast Guard Training Center at Cape May stands on the site of a former amusement park that bordered the Atlantic Ocean a few miles east of Cape May in southern New Jersey. Dirigibles, submarines, and minesweepers were based here during World War I. Because of its proximity to the ocean and Delaware Bay, the base was used by Coast Guard patrol boats and cutters to chase rum runners during Prohibition in the 1920s. An airfield was established adjacent to the base in 1926, and in 1940, both combined to become Naval Air Station Cape May. The station protected the coast line from German U-boasts during World War II. the Coast Guard took over the facility in 1946, and in 1948, the base became the only recruit training center in the country, today graduating more than 4,000 recruits per year.

The book signing will be held from 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm at the Carriage House Gallery Shop at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. www.capemaymac.org

Thursday, July 4 - New Brunswick, Middlesex County
Declaration of Independence Reading

In 1776, the third reading of the Declaration of Independence took place in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Come celebrate the 4th of July with a reenactment of that historic event at historic Christ Church, 5 Paterson Street, New Brunswick, NJ. Learn about the history behind the reading of the Declaration in New Brunswick, tour the historic Christ Church Cemetery with graves marking Revolutionary War heroes, sing patriotic songs from the era, and hear unique American music performed on a traditional pipe organ. The event begins at 11:00 am. Free admission and free refreshments. Free parking will be available in the Church Street or Wolfson parking decks. www.christchurchnewbrunswick.org

Thursday, July 4 - Haddonfield, Camden County
Independence Day Celebration

On July 4th, before Haddonfield's annual parade on Kings Highway, an interpreter will read the Declaration of Independence at 9:30 am on the steps of the Indian King Tavern. An open house will follow the parade from 11:30 am - 3:30 pm. Revolutionary War reenactors will be encamped at the Indian King hanging out to celebrate, so be sure to join them! The Indian King Tavern is located at 233 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ. www.indiankingfriends.org

Thursday, July 4 - Caldwell, Essex County
Ice Cream Social

In between viewing spectacular fireworks and attending family barbecues on this upcoming 4th of July weekend, be sure to take part in another summertime American tradition - enjoying ice cream. Ice cream, a magician, flea circus, patent medicine show, and tours of the historic birthplace are all part of the fun at the social, to be held on Thursday, July 4 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. 

Take a stroll through history with free tours of the historic birthplace museum and peak into the past with the traveling trunks. Enjoy entertainment from a strolling magician, balloons for kids and of course free ice cream from Gelotti’s for everyone! Family entertainment includes the Phydeau flea circus, an old time patent medicine show or have tin type photographs made. Children may dress up in Victorian costumes, enjoy Cleveland era games such as marbles, and potato sack races. Food services are by Cloverleaf Tavern, and old fashioned lemonade and popcorn are also available. 

The Grover Cleveland Birthplace is located at 207 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ. While there are no admission charges and many events are free, donations are accepted. For more information, call 973-226-0001 or visit www.presidentcleveland.org.

Some event listings courtesy of the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey


Don't forget the Ice Cream Social at the Grover Cleveland Birthplace in Caldwell New Jersey from 1pm - 4pm.

Thanks for this list. I love the Fourth of July! Cape May, Ringwood, and Morristown are so beautiful.

Happy Fourth!

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