The Fourth of July was celebrated in the United States during WWI, but it wasn’t until after the Armistice that Americans began to celebrate their independence.
The fourth of july is a day that has been celebrated for hundreds of years. It was originally used as a celebration for the independence of the United States from Britain.
On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, that “it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forever more.”
For 245 years, the Fourth of July has been associated with hot dogs, Old Navy red, white, and blue uniforms, and fireworks. There were a lot of fireworks. Exactly like our forefathers prophesied.
However, while the war on the Western Front raged on, the freshly arriving American doughboys anticipated little pomp and ceremony to commemorate their country’s independence in 1917.
Leave it to the French, the country’s oldest ally, to throw a celebration.
(Photo courtesy of the National World War I Museum and Memorial)
According to the National World War I Museum and Memorial, French soldiers and civilians gathered throughout the nation to commemorate the American holiday, while U.S. forces marched through Paris with throngs cheering them on.
The next year, the festivities were even bigger, with a ceremony honoring President Woodrow Wilson by renaming Avenue du’Trocadero.
“There was a feeling of comfort there. Lora Vogt, Curator of Education at the National World Conflict I Museum and Memorial, told HistoryNet that about a third of [France’s] male population between the ages of 18 and 35 perished in the first few years of the war. “Anyone else wanting to join in and assist in the defense of their country… I believe the majority of the French were relieved that the Americans were coming in to act as a bulwark.”
The Germans were all but defeated when the United States entered World War I after three years of grueling warfare. American troops were on French territory only three months after President Woodrow Wilson requested Congress to declare war on the Central Powers.
From the capitals of both Allied governments — King George requested that the American Flag fly from Victoria Tower to commemorate the Fourth of July — to ordinary citizens, this appreciation was shown in the embrace of America’s day of freedom.
“You have King George watching a baseball game between the United States [Army] and the United States [Navy] teams… They’ve grown to know these troops on a local level because they come over and eat at the neighborhood café,” Vogt said. “There are some very lovely letters about how connections were formed. In many letters, you’ll find expressions of gratitude on a family-by-family basis.”
An American soldier and a French soldier with a nurse and the American and French flags in the middle of a color postcard. (Photo courtesy of the National World War I Museum and Memorial)
Across the besieged French country, spontaneous celebrations of American independence erupted, with one American soldier writing home on July 8, 1917, “Whenever one sees a French flag, there is an American flag.”
“You have this embrace of Americans for what they offer, and it’s a moment when they start to truly define themselves in the twentieth century,” Vogt said.
Unfortunately, the acceptance of American culture was limited. Despite the efforts of the doughboys, the gastronomic wonder that was and is a hot dog never took off.
What’s more, it’s a pity. All of you have a wonderful 4th of July!
Frequently Asked Questions
How was the 4th of July celebrated?
The 4th of July is a federal holiday in the United States that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
When did 4th of July celebrations start?
The 4th of July celebrations have started on the 4th of July.
What led to the end of World war 1?
World War 1 ended with the Treaty of Versailles, which was signed on June 28, 1919.
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