Tag Archives: July 4th

AMERICA (1924): A SILENT FILM FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY

America 1924Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog are familiar with my fondness for old Silent Movies. America was D.W. Griffith’s 1924 production about the Revolutionary War. The movie is pleasant enough for the July 4th holiday season, but don’t expect a classic like The Phantom of the Opera, The Mark of Zorro or many other masterpieces of the silent era.

Batman fans may enjoy the fact that a very young Neil Hamilton – Commissioner Gordon on the much later Adam West Batman show – starred in America as Nathan Holden, a rebel Minute Man in Massachusetts. Nathan is part of a Romeo and Juliet-styled romance and is in love with Nancy Montague (Carol Dempster), who belongs to a Tory family still loyal to England.

America 1924 2The Holdens can’t stand the snobbish Montagues and the Montagues pompously look down on the Holdens and the rest of the rebels. Nancy’s father would rather see Nancy married off to the prominent British military officer Captain Walter Butler, played with aristocratic and sadistic flair by THE Lionel Barrymore.

The star-crossed lovers Nathan and Nancy struggle to keep their romance alive against the backdrop of historical events like the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s Ride, the Battle of Bunker Hill and many others.Various actors portray figures like John Hancock, Samuel Adams, William Pitt, King George III, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee and, of course, George Washington. Continue reading

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HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY 2016

American flagBalladeer’s Blog wishes a happy birthday to the USA! What happened in early July of 1776 certainly needs no rehashing so in keeping with my blog’s theme of addressing more out of the way subjects this post will examine various events that took place on other July 4th’s throughout American history.

JULY 4TH, 1778 – George Rogers Clark led his rebel forces in taking the British stronghold of Kaskaskia, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia Rivers. Clark and his Rangers were on a mission for then-Virginia Governor Patrick Henry.

JULY 4TH, 1783 – The Massachusetts Supreme Court is finalizing its written decision holding that slavery has been illegal in the state since adoption of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights in 1780.

JULY 4TH, 1788 – Continue reading

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FOURTH OF JULY MUSICAL: 1776

1776-musical-movieIt may be my fondness for mythology that makes me love to watch particular movies around particular holidays.  I say that because many of the well- known myths were recited on ancient holidays when their subject matter was relevant to those holidays. The stories helped accentuate the meaning of the special events and that’s the way I use various movies. At Christmas I watch countless variations of A Christmas Carol, around Labor Day I watch Eight Men Out, at Halloween The Evil Dead and the original Nightmare On Elm Street, Thanksgiving Eve I do Oliver! and for Frontierado (which is just a month away now) I do Silverado.

Since the actual 4th of July is loaded with activity I always show 1776 on the night before. It’s a great way to get in the mood for Independence Day. It’s a musical but with brilliant dialogue portions and the story involves the political maneuvering  surrounding the Original Thirteen Colonies at last announcing their independence from Great Britain, more than a year after Continue reading

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REVOLUTIONARY WAR: PART TWO OF NEGLECTED NAVAL BATTLES

Revolutionary War naval battlesBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of neglected naval clashes of the Revolutionary War.

MAY 21st, 1777 – Off St Augustine, FL the USS Comet waged an all-night battle with the HMS Apalachicola until the British ship had lost all sails and riggings and was forced to surrender.

APRIL 27th, 1778 – THE John Paul Jones, leading a detachment from the USS Ranger, raided the British port of Whitehaven. The detachment’s commando-style raid resulted in Continue reading

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HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY 2015

American flagBalladeer’s Blog wishes a happy birthday to the USA! What happened in early July of 1776 certainly needs no rehashing so in keeping with my blog’s theme of addressing more out of the way subjects this post will examine various events that took place on other July 4th’s throughout American history.

JULY 4TH, 1778 – George Rogers Clark led his rebel forces in taking the British stronghold of Kaskaskia, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia Rivers. Clark and his Rangers were on a mission for then-Virginia Governor Patrick Henry.

JULY 4TH, 1783 – The Massachusetts Supreme Court is finalizing its written decision holding that slavery has been illegal in the state since adoption of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights in 1780.

JULY 4TH, 1788 – Continue reading

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NAVAL BATTLES OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR

American navy -revolutionary warWelcome back to Balladeer’s Blog! As always I am big on seasonal articles and here is another one of my examinations of a neglected aspect of Revolutionary War history. With the 4th of July coming up quickly enjoy this look at some forgotten naval battles from the war for our country’s independence.

AUGUST 7th, 1775 – The Commerce raided the HMS Betsy and successfully made off with over 17,000 lbs of gunpowder for the rebel cause.

AUGUST 10th, 1775 – In Gloucester, MA the town militia fired on the HMS Falcon and drove it off, killing 35 British sailors and forcing the ship to Continue reading

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HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY 2014!

American flagBalladeer’s Blog wishes a happy 238th birthday to the USA! What happened in early July of 1776 certainly needs no rehashing (the Green Bay Packers won the very first Superbowl) so in keeping with my blog’s theme of addressing more out of the way subjects this post will examine various events that took place on other July 4th’s throughout American history.

JULY 4TH, 1778 – George Rogers Clark led his rebel forces in taking the British stronghold of Kaskaskia, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia Rivers. Clark and his Rangers were on a mission for then-Virginia Governor Patrick Henry.

JULY 4TH, 1783 – The Massachusetts Supreme Court is finalizing its written decision holding that slavery has been illegal in the state since adoption of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights in 1780.

JULY 4TH, 1788 – Continue reading

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NAVAL BATTLES OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR

American navy -revolutionary warWelcome back to Balladeer’s Blog! As always I am big on seasonal articles and here is another one of my examinations of a neglected aspect of Revolutionary War history. With the 4th of July coming up quickly enjoy this look at some forgotten naval battles from the war for our country’s independence.

AUGUST 7th, 1775 – The Commerce raided the HMS Betsy and successfully made off with over 17,000 lbs of gunpowder for the rebel cause.

AUGUST 10th, 1775 – In Gloucester, MA the town militia fired on the HMS Falcon and drove it off, killing 35 British sailors and forcing the ship to Continue reading

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REVOLUTIONARY WAR BATTLES BEFORE THE FOURTH OF JULY

 Balladeer’s Blog as usual will be marking the USA’s upcoming birthday with a series of holiday-themed posts. Since we get overexposed to the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 and the actual signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 I will instead stay true to my blog’s theme and focus on the action in between April 19th, 1775 and early July 1776.

May 10th, 1775 – The British Fort Ticonderoga in New York is seized in what would today be called a Special Forces raid by Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, who beat other American forces to the valuable military prize. Allen and his men had the advantage of being an organized body under arms for quite a long time because they were originally formed to fight for the independence of what is now the state of Vermont (“Green Mountain”).

They had been an active guerilla force fighting for Vermont’s right to be an independent entity rather than part of the Hampshire Grants being fought over by New York and New Hampshire. Their secret headquarters was the Catamount Tavern which is why the University of Vermont’s sports teams are called the Catamounts. 

May 12th, 1775 – Crown Point, NY is taken by American forces in another early but forgotten action. 

May 16th – Benedict Arnold’s ultimately ill-fated invasion of Canada sees its first action as his forces besiege  St John. Among Arnold’s troops are Continue reading

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HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY 2013

American flagBalladeer’s Blog wishes a happy 237th birthday to the USA! What happened in early July of 1776 certainly needs no rehashing (the Green Bay Packers won the very first Superbowl) so in keeping with my blog’s theme of addressing more out of the way subjects this post will examine various events that took place on other July 4th’s throughout American history.

JULY 4TH, 1778 – George Rogers Clark led his rebel forces in taking the British stronghold of Kaskaskia, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia Rivers. Clark and his Rangers were on a mission for then-Virginia Governor Patrick Henry.

JULY 4TH, 1783 – The Massachusetts Supreme Court is finalizing its written decision holding that slavery has been illegal in the state since adoption of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights in 1780.

JULY 4TH, 1788 – Continue reading

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