• First Fourth of July Celebrate by Religious Community

  • light-painting-801024_640The first recorded July 4thcelebration was observed by the ringing of bells and attending church. These subdued festivities were recorded in a Moravian settlement in North Carolina.

    The Moravian Church is one of the oldest Protestant denominations in the world, with its heritage dating back to the Bohemian Reformation in the fifteenth century.

    They might have been celebrating, but they weren’t partying in honor of military victory. They were thanking God for peace.

    At this nation’s first official Independence Day celebration, there were no fireworks, no sparklers, and no rowdy parties. The parade was solemn, with reverent music and the call-and-response singing of two choirs. Songs were sung in German.

    That subdued celebration was on July 4, 1783, in the Moravian village of Salem.

    Ecstatic over both victory and peace, Alexander Martin, the governor of the new state of North Carolina, proclaimed July 4 a day of public thanksgiving. The governor’s order was not widely heeded. Some of the more backwoods areas of the state didn’t even hear about it until the designated date had passed. But Governor Martin, on his way to somewhere else, stopped in the thriving settlement of Salem on June 30 and mentioned the proclamation.

    Despite the short notice, Salem and the other Moravian villages that made up the Wachovia settlement scrambled to put together suitable observances. All the villages celebrated at least a little, by ringing bells or attending church.

    Moravians kept meticulous records and wrote everything down, so it’s pretty safe to say the first celebration was in Salem.

    At Columbia Orthodontics we wish you a safe and fun Fourth of July. And come on in if you want to improve your smile.

    We can accommodate you at one of our three convenient locations.

    We are at Salmon Creek, Cascade Park and Battle Ground. See directions to our offices.

    Call today 360 883-3800.

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