July 4, 1893
Attendance this day was 324,344 (283, 273 paid) according at a New York Times editorial on 7 July 1893. Largest attendance at a festival in US in history to that date. That was more than for the entire first week of the fair.
This record was shattered on Chicago Day, 9 October 1893 in which 716,881 attended.
July 4, 1893
The program for the Nation’s Natal Day at the Columbian Exposition were celebrated as follows:
Prayer: The Rev. John Henry Burrows, D. D.
Opening Address: Adlai E. Stevenson
Song: “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean”
Address: Carter H. Harrison, Mayor of Chicago
Address: Hampton L. Carson of Philadelphia
Salute of the Flags
Song: “Star Spangled Banner”
Oration and Reading of the Declaration of Independence by J.S. Norton of Chicago
Song: “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”
Artistic rendition of the Grand Illumination and accompanying display of fireworks at the World’s Columbian Exposition in honor of America’s Day, July 4, 1893, showing special pieces of George Washington and the Stars and Stripes.
Chicago Tribune, July 5, 1893
Uncle Sam gave a birthday party yesterday. Since May began he has been busy showing the world how a country should honor the name of its discoverer. But yesterday Spain’s colors were forgotten. Amierica’s banners were unfurled to the breezes. Amid the splendor that has sprung into being at the will of modern progress as a tribute to the undying fame of a fearless Genoese sailor he taught the assembled nations how such a republic as his should celebrate its birth and hold the great and good who stood as its sponsors at its baptism of blood. In bis long and honorable career the old gentleman has seen fit to extend invitations to functions, but never before have they been sent to the uttermost parts of the earth,and never before has the prowess, art,and civilization of a universe united to do him homage.
The domes and spires of the city of dreams have looked down upon many a fair and goodly spectacle, but never on a more significant gathering or one more replete with hopeful promise for the future of the American people than that which responded to his summons. Whatever satisfaction Uncle Sam may have taken in the presence of his foreign guests, however sweet their praises may have sounded in his ears, whatever he may have felt in seeing his own starry colors floating high above flags of all nations dipped in deference to “Old Glory’s” red, white, and blue, it was the great throng of his own people that touched his prIde most nearly.
And His Eagle Screamed.
Their acclamations and shouts of patriotic enthusiasm must have been to the homely fellow in the old-fashioned hat (which, by the way, not even royalty’s condescension can induce him to change for one of newer style) melody more harmonious even than that of the stirring airs he has good reason to love. To few hosts are given the unalloyed happiness in their own festivities. What wonder if the fierce old bird he has chosen to make a pet screamed so loud that the big eagle over the main entrance to the Manufactures Building heard him and felt an impulse in his plaster to swell the chorus. It was a day for noise. A day, too, for heartfelt thanksgiving and the renewing old vows of loyalty. To the more thoughtful among those who celebrated at Jackson Park the Nation’s natal day the assembling of such a multitude at such a tine meant but one thing. It set the seal of a great Nation’s approval on the ringing words emblazoned on the beautiful arch of the peristyle in the White City:
We here highly resolve that government of thae People, by the people, and for the people shall, not perish from the earth.
Swelling songs of praise, booming cannon, fluttering colors, the calm glory of great white buildings and ribbon-like lagoons, all seemed to pledge American citizens to the defense of such a government as solemnly as fifty-six honored men once bound themselves to the support of a document known as the “Declaration of Independence “—by their lives, fortunes, and their sacred honor.
But the crowd didn’t gather fast. At 10 o’clock the grand court looked desolate. A pine platform stretched its yellow length in front of Terminal Station, but nobody seemed disposed to occupy it. A few looked at it contemplatively from a little distance and a few more gathered about the band that played national airs vigorously in the big hall of the station.
Columbian Exposition–The Fourth of July Crowds Going to the Fair Grounds
Gather in an Hour.
About 10:30 things looked a trifle more cheerful. By 11 the spirit of the day had taken hold of the people and there wasn’t much space to spare. When the carriages in which Carter H. Harrison and Adlai E. Stevenson rode to the grounds rolled through the Exposition gates all was blackness in the great square, rash small boys had crawled caterpilar-like up the adjacent electric-light poles, and venturesome figures were silhouetted against the white buildings at any points of vantage. In short, the crowd was a realization, as the ringing shouts that arose from the throats of assembled when the speakers stepped upon the platform proved.
Previous to their arrival there was a wait, which those who had come early on purpose to get good seats “way down in front” felt keenly. Any incident was welcomed by them as a relief. They fussed about the weather until the sun came out just to restore confidence in the man in the Auditorium tower. Then it hid its head again, because they were ungrateful enough to call it “broiling.” During its brief visit, however, all who hadn’t provided themselves with umbrellas put on blue glasses or made “blinders” out of newspapers. Those who had sun protectors raised them and under their grateful shade members of the chorus took surreptitious snatches of luncheon.
The man with big packages of leaflets on which the music for the day was printed received a cordial welcome from the crowd, and his wares were quickly distributed, fluttering their way to the outer circle of the mass of humanity. But he who bore to the platform b1g bundles of American flags quickly out-rivaled the song man in popular favor. Hundreds of hands were eagerly outstretched for the bright bits of color, and once obtained waved them enthusiastically and untiringly until the rain fell and a black roof of umbrellas spread over the patriots like a pall.
Floating the original Stars and Stripes in front of the Administration Building.
Carter H. and Hat Appear.
The first glimpse of Mayor Harrison’s familiar hat occasioned a shout. The Mayor stepped jauntily on to the platform, a silken American flag displayed in the upper left hand pocket of his coat. At this gorgeous handkerchief he glanced complacently from time to time, oblivious to the painful fact that a white kerchief drooping from another pocket gave the lie to whatever claim to utility the flag might like to advance. His welcome, warm us it was, was as nothing compared with that of a placid little gray-haired woman, who carried before her with the most care a box from which a suggestion of bunting fell. This was Mrs. Perry Stafford of Martha’s Vineyard, with the “Paul Jones” flag. To the rousing recognition of the crowd she smiled an acknowledgment, then crossing the platform she devoted herself to putting the flag on the line and learning how to pull it to the top of the flagstaff nearest Machinery Hall. For she would let no other hands than hers touch the sacred relic.
Mrs. Mary Frost Ormsby with the “Peace Flag” out of its wide setting of white silk was there. So were Mrs. H. T. Hollenberg of Little Rock, Ark., who brought as a participant in the national rejoicing Andrew Jackson’s old sword, and Miss Anne S. Greene of CharlottesvillL, Va., who carried a bunch of flowers raised from the seed brought from the tomb of Thomas Jefferson. The Wisconsin banner with “Old Abe” borne proudly on the top of it made but little stir, gallant looking British lancers riding around the crowd before the west front of Administration Building received more attention—such are the fortunes of peace.
The appearance of Vice-President Stevenson was the signal for a renewal of enthusiasm and a round expression of friendship for the government’s representative. During his address applause was frequent and interest marked. Indeed from the moment when Director-General Davis, his gray hair bared, called the throng to order to the time when Mayor Harrison’s proposal of “Three cheers for the republic” rounded out the program with a patriotic uproar the rowd was patient and attentive. Heads were bared during the Rev. Mr. Canfield s prayer. Mayor Harrison’s speech was punctuated with cheers, and all the national airs were sung with a vim and vigor that made the court ring with harmony-
Jupiter Sheds a Few Tears.
Just before Jupiter Pluvius and the Goddess of Liberty got into a lively discussion regarding the best weather for the proper celebration of the Fourth of July. There was a difference of opinion, and J. Pluvius decided to experiment a bit. So he turned his rain clouds loose. But the crowd, reminded by Mayor Harrison that forefathers didn’t mind the rain, stood and kept a firm hold on its temper.
With the drops tinkling down on the umbrellas that hid the crowd, though they failed to eclipse its effectiveness, the crowning glory of America’s great day. On the stroke of noon, the two big flags between Administration and Terminal slowly shook out their heavy folds. Then the peace flag rose gracefully to the top of its staff on the right of the platform. Last of all, a little old flag that bore in its field of blue only twelve stars was raised by trembling old hands and fluttered bravely before the eyes of the people, a striking reminder of the childhood of the republic. Cheer after cheer rent the air and eyes grew misty with emotion as the band thundered out the opening bars of the “Star Spangled Banner,” and thousands of voices took up the refrain, waking the echoes with the fine old air and wafting over the buildings, across the still lagoons to the triumphal arch, where Columbus sat enthroned in his quadriga listening to the joyous music of the people whose path to greatness he paved.
This was the height. Nothing that followed came as an anti-climax.
Now Liberty Bell Rings.
In the midst of the excitement an innocent looking instrument reposing on a table on the platform set ringing the Columbian liberty bell in the bell foundry of C. H. Meneely in Troy, N. Y. The arrangements for this part of the exercises were made by Supt. Coleman of the Western Union early in the morning. A wire was run from an instrument in the company’s offices in Pavilion A of the Administration Building to its roof, thence to the loggia of the Terminal Station, and thence to an instrument on the table of the speaker, where Operator Hemphill took charge of it until it was needed.
Mayor Hampton L. Carson of Philadelphia delivered a stirring oration, with the old Liberty bell as his subject, and his eloquence was appreciated by the crowd. The Declaration of Independence was read by J. S. Norton of Chicago, and then, with the singing of ” America” and the ringing words of the Doxology,
Finally with cheers, the program was concluded .
People found it hard to leave the place, however, and long after Col. Davis had dismissed them they lingered, singing with the chorus, “Way Down Upon the Swanee River” and ‘”Home, Sweet Home.” With the melody of that most patriotic of all songs still sounding in their ears they wandered away to other portions of the grounds.
“Declaration of Independence, July 4th 1776.”
Woven in silk at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. 1893.
PROCLAMATION BY MAYOR CARTER H. HARRISON
June 30, 1893
“In this Columbian year we are to celebrate the 117th anniversary of American independence in the presence of visitors of the whole world. It is appropriate, therefore, that we let them see, hear, and understand the meaning of ‘Fourth of July celebration’.
It is proper that we should make a noise, for we have something to make a noise about: A great Nation, a great State, and Chicago, the greatest city of its age the world ever saw, with its marvelous growth, wonderful progress, today holding its head above all the cities of the world, and where is being held the most magnificent exhibition of arts, sciences, and industries the nations of the earth ever had the opportunity to look upon, with its palaces rivaling in grandeur the most picturesque features of the Orient, unequaled in architectural beauty and design.
To make noise in heralding these things to the world is appropriate. Americans have always used fireworks to celebrate the day. This is eminently a year when Chicago can afford to make a noise, but it should do so in a rational manner, protecting alike life and property and placing no one’s life in jeopardy by reason of a surplus of patriotism.
Under the ordinances of the City of Chicago the Mayor is vested with discretion in regard to allowing the use and display of fireworks in its streets, alleys, and public places.
Now, therefore, I, Carter H. Harrison, Mayor of the City of Chicago, by virtue of the authority vested in me, hereby issue the following proclamation in regard to the use of fireworks July 4, 1893:
The proper use of fireworks will be allowed, including firecrackers, squibs, rockets, Roman candles, torpedoes, serpents, and such other displays as will not endanger life and property when they are properly handled. These may be used on vacant lots, in and upon the streets and public grounds under the control of the city authorities between 4 o’clock in the morning and 12 midnight July 4th, subject to restrictions as follows:
No firecrackers, fireworks of any character, gunpowder, etc., shall be exploded in any alley, back yard, or confined space on any street. The use of cannons, guns, revolvers, pistols, or firearms of any description is absolutely prohibited, and any violation of this ordinance will subject the violator to a fine of $10 for each offense.
It is imperative that no fireworks of any kind or description be exploded near or in the vicinity of the Exposition grounds and buildings at Jackson Park, as the combustible nature of the structures and the great value of their contents would make it extremely dangerous to use fireworks in that locality.
The selling or the giving away of any toy pistols and caps to children is absolutely prohibited. A violation of this ordinance will subject the offender to arrest and imprisonment and a fine of $50 for each offense. I desire especially to warn parents that toy pistols are often dangerous in the hands of the inexperienced, and should not be placed in the possession of children.
The police of the City of Chicago are especially notified to see to it that this proclamation is enforced. It is especially desired that the boys shall have a good time on the Fourth of July of this year and that they shall have the opportunity to make all the noise they can, but it is also necessary that they should be careful of themselves and of the property surrounding them; that they be careful in the use of firecrackers and explosives generally, and that they comply strictly with this proclamation.
Given under my hand and the seal of the City of Chicago, this 30th day of June A.D. 1893.”
Carter H. Harrison, Mayor