Note: This is an encore post from 2006.
July 4, 1907
And how does Los Angeles celebrate Independence Day? With cricket matches and bagpipe contests.
“The Times said: Oratory and music are to replace firewater and fireworks in this year’s celebration of Independence Day. The official program as arranged by the local celebration committee was announced last night.
“Chairman Humphreys says it is arranged so as to present a treat for lovers of music; it consists chiefly of band concerts in different parks and playgrounds, with some speaking, but no fireworks.”
Apparently, there was quite a cricket match between Los Angeles and Santa Monica, as The Times said: “Then came the greatest partnership Southern California has witnessed in first-class cricket for many a long day.”
A sample of The Times’ cricket reportage: “Nash now came in, but only to see Sommerville’s off stump knocked clean out of the ground by Hunt, the ball coming back fast. The score sheet at this time showed 4 overs, no runs, 2 wickets and 4 maidens. The rot was temporarily stopped by Nash and Morris, the former hitting Hunt to square leg for 3 and the latter sent Mather to long leg for 4. In the ninth over, Nash, in hitting out to a straight one from Hunt, misjudged the pace and was bowled.”
There were a few informal fireworks displays: Ah Sing was arrested for setting off firecrackers as he walked along Broadway. He told police he didn’t understand officers’ warnings to stop. Five more men were arrested for setting off firecrackers on Main Street, three of whom were celebrating after midnight.
And there you have it: an old-fashioned Fourth of July.