Thursday, July 3, 2014

TSLA celebrates our independence...

Independence Day offers us an opportunity to celebrate our nation's freedoms and recognize the important historical events that have shaped our nation since its founding.

On this Independence Day, we offer a photographic look back at previous events and Independence Day celebrations that took place on the 4th of July, with a special emphasis on images held in the collections of the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Enjoy!

Defend Your Country
Words by John W. Bratton, music by Leo Edwards, copyright 1940
Rose Music Collection, TSLA

This patriotic song, published in the interest of national defense, was inspired by the famous United States Army poster, “Defend Your Country,” painted by Major Tom B. Woodburn, USA, noted artist, who collaborated on the song with the composers.
This image from the U.S. Army Signal Corps is entitled with the caption, "Soldiers of the Three hundred and twenty-fifth Infantry, Eighty-second Division, presenting arms while the band plays the Star-Spangled Banner. July 4 celebration."

The fall of Vicksburg marked a crucial turning point in the American Civil War, as Confederate General John C. Pemberton's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant on July 4, 1863, opened up the Mississippi River again for the Union. As a result of the surrender on this date, Vicksburg did not celebrate the 4th of July for 81 years.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives has a wealth of material related to this battle digitized in our Looking Back at the Civil War in Tennessee Collection, including this wonderful tintype of the Ammons Brothers, Benjamin and Raiford, who served in Company L, 1st Tenn., CSA, until the unit's surrender at Vicksburg.

Jefferson City, Tennessee. Hattie Massengill and Mattie Vesser pose for pictures in crepe paper dress for a Fourth of July celebration in Jefferson City, Tennessee in 1904. They won a prize for their costumes.
Looking Back at Tennessee Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives.

This street scene Lenoir City, Tennessee shows a childrens' Fourth of July parade in 1924. They are in costume and are carrying signs. One says "Patriotic through all the year" and the others name the months.
Looking Back at Tennessee Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives.

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.

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