World War II had gripped the country for the better part of the last five years. This was the first peacetime July Fourth celebration in many years and for some cities, the first celebration of any kind since 1940 or 1941. Around the state, newspapers reported how it was observed:
The Brownsville Herald reported in a headline that stated “Tigers, Cubs Play on Fourth of July,” two of the various semipro baseball teams that were fielded in Brownsville over the years. They were the Brownsville Tigers and the Brownsville Cubs and played other teams in the Valley.
In The Mexia Daily Herald, “everybody who is tired of work” was invited to take off and come to Fort Parker State Park. There was to be an afternoon full of entertainment, including fast boat races. Texans were invited to bring their own basket lunch and eat picnic style.
The Bonham Daily Favorite reported that it was a noisy day in Bonham and Fannin County with firecrackers being tossed about. The sheriff’s department reported no reports of any wrecks of a serious nature and that they had made few arrests. Bonham State Park and Lake Fannin attracted many residents and that twin bills of baseball were enjoyed in Dallas and Sherman, along with a good-sized crowd attending a local softball game. Officers reported that there were some arrests for drunkenness, but that outside of that, there was no trouble to speak of.
A United Press report out of Dallas, Texas appeared in The Corpus Christi Caller-Times with this July Fourth note, “Nine juveniles hauled into court for shooting firecrackers in violation of city laws were lectured on Independence Day by Officer Sam Davis. ‘That’s what we were celebrating – Independence!’ chimed in one of the defendants. They were dismissed.”
The The Corpus Christi Caller-Times continued with a report that there was to be a golf tournament at the local country club. The Benavides Merchants and the Corpus Christi Internationals were to meet in a baseball game at Buffalo Street Park. The American Legion teams of Kingsville and Corpus Christi were to meet in a baseball game at Lar Armada diamond. In Falfurrias there was to be a rodeo, horse races were to be held at Refugio, a bullfight at Reynosa, capped off by wrestling at the Corpus Christi Town Hall arena.
The Lubbock Evening Journal reported on activities around the state, including that there was going to be an old fashioned street dance at Floydada. General Jonathan Wainwright (former commander of allied forces at Corregidor and former POW of the Japanese for over three years) was the featured speaker after the largest parade in Floydada history. A three day rodeo opened in Leveland. In Rising Star, a three-day “welcome home” celebration was held for returned veterans. A boat regatta was set for Galveston along with a parade and a three day air and ground forces caravan. Carthage was ready for a crowd of 10,000 with a free barbecue, political rallies and a street dance. A three-day rodeo was set to begin in Amarillo while Big Spring hosted a musical program and free fireworks.
The Paris News reported that the 170th Fourth of July was ushered in with scattered popping and explosions of fireworks that had been long denied not only to children but to adults despite a city ordinance forbidding fireworks inside the city limits. The police department reported only one complaint from a resident who objected to the noise.
The Corsicana Daily Sun reported that rodeo fans from all over Navarro and neighboring counties enjoyed a Fourth of July rodeo. Following a large parade, about 5,000 fans attended the event put on by the newly-formed Corsicana Corral Club in the arena on new Highway 31. The article stated that “Local stockmen went all out to present a fine colorful program that produced its share of thrills, chills and laughs as next door neighbors matched wits and brawn against recalcitrant broncs, onery bulls and bawling calves.”
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