By Elleda Wilson
Posted: July 1, 2011
Timely snippets from the JULY 4, 1889, edition of THE DAILY ASTORIAN:
“The streets and houses are bright with bannered bloom, and rich with regal radiance, and gorgeous with gleaming crimson, creamy white and softened azure … the festive firecracker snappeth on the corner and the American eagle looks the sun straight in the eye and soars.”
And: “‘Twenty-three years ago today,’ Said GEO. T. MYERS yesterday, as he handed a roll of 20s to an Astorian reporter, ‘was the hottest day I ever saw here. It was 92 degrees in the shade on Flavel’s wharf … and Great Caesar’s suffering ghost, how hot it was!’”
And: “The ladies of the Rescue Club and WCTU will serve ice cream, cake and lemonade as previously announced in CAPT. FLAVEL’s building … on the Fourth of July. They desire it distinctly understood that they will serve no lunch nor anything hot on that day, not wishing to interfere with any regular honorable business in the city.”
The Fourth of July festivities included more than $1,000 in prizes, a Grand Parade, foot races (including a “Fat Men’s Race), exhibition drills, boat races, a bicycle race, 38 and 13-gun salutes, and, mysteriously, at 6:30 p.m., “Walking Tight Rope.” One can only imagine.
“The Oration will be by Hon. C.W. FULTON,” the blurb said. “The Parade will be worth seeing. The Fireworks on The River will be the grandest thing of the kind ever seen in Astoria.” The Ear is exhausted just thinking about such an event-filled day. It’s a good thing that “special arrangements” were made for the “comfort and welfare of visitors.”
Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.