At the turn of the twentieth century, the Fourth of July was a day of heartfelt patriotic revelry. A time when neighborhoods were trimmed to the treetops with streamers and flags, community gatherings ran the gamut from games and impassioned oratory to prizes for the "best beard." It was an era when kids delighted in the POP of fireworks, patriotic poems found legions of appreciative readers, and fruit ices and whirling parasols kept the midsummer heat at bay. It was a glorious time indeed.
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