The City Magazine Since 1975

Party On, Patriots

July 2018
Party On, Patriots
WRITER: 

On July 4, 1976, the United States had one heck of a birthday, and South Carolina didn’t miss the party

On July 4, 1976, the United States had one heck of a birthday, and South Carolina didn’t miss the party. Five years earlier, the South Carolina American Revolution Bicentennial Commission had been established to ensure that “appropriate efforts were made at the state level to properly celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Nation.” As a result, a host of events rang in Independence Day: Greenville threw a Bicentennial Ball; and in Cowpens, a 500-pound birthday cake was served to some 1,400 citizens. Charleston put on its own grand parade (pictured here), complete with elaborate floats, marching bands, battalions in Revolution-era garb, and members of each branch of the military. Additionally, a boat parade took place in the harbor; Middleton Place offered a slate of colonial-themed activities; and Patriots Point, newly open to the public, welcomed patrons to explore the U.S.S. Yorktown for the first time. According to the Commission, however, one of the greatest ways to celebrate the Bicentennial was to simply visit and revel in the history of the Holy City—it was, after all, one of the last places where folks could still “walk in the footsteps of the patriots.” 

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Photograph Courtesy of the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston