The bill, which passed unanimously in both houses and now awaits the signature of Governor Andrew Cuomo, would create the New York State 250th Commemoration Commission to create a plan to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution and founding of the United States (the Semiquincentennial, July 4, 2026), and establish a 250th Commemoration Commission Fund. [Read more…] about The Semiquincentennial: State Leg Passes 250th Commemoration Act
Fourth of July
As the last enslaved people living in New York State were officially freed on July 4th, 1827, celebrations reigned.
According to the New-York Spectator, people packed the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church on the corner of Church and Leonard Streets in Manhattan. The major societies for the support and liberation of African American people were there. Banners and flags festooned the church. “Several hymns written for the occasion were sung.”
Portraits of John Jay, a founder of the Manumission Society who had himself owned five people until 1800, and Matthew Clarkson, who introduced a bill for the gradual end of slavery to the New York State Legislature, were hung near a bust of Daniel D. Tompkins, who as Governor of New York had proposed this date as the day for emancipation. [Read more…] about July 4th, 1827: Freedom Day
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, we explore Douglass’ thoughtful question within the context of Early America: What did the Fourth of July mean for African Americans in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries?
This week on The Historians Podcast, Bob Cudmore’s guest is Jim Kaplan who looks at the history of Fourth of July celebrations in New York City. In recent years the Lower Manhattan Historical Association has organized Fourth of July parades. Kaplan is a regular contributor to The New York History Blog [Read more…] about A History of NYC July Fourth Celebrations
John Adams predicted Americans would celebrate the Second of July, the day Congress voted in favor of independence, “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of the Continent to the other.” He got the date wrong, but he was right about the festivities in commemoration of Independence Day. And yet July Fourth events have changed a great deal since 1776. [Read more…] about Celebrating the Fourth: Some History