Fourth of July, 1946


Huntington’s Fourth of July parade on July 4, 1946, included this float
 with a group of women proudly displaying Old Glory,
 while a costumed “Uncle Sam” looked on.

Photo courtesy WV and Regional History Center, WVU Library


In 1946, the Fourth of July was a jam-packed holiday in Huntington.
 It was less than a year since the Aug. 14, 1945, end of World War II
and people were still in a mood to celebrate. An all-day holiday
 program, sponsored by the Huntington Chamber of Commerce,
was chaired by Col. George S. Wallace, president of the
 Huntington Board of Park Commissioners.

The events began at 9 a.m. with two memorial services
honoring the city’s war dead. One service was held at
 the Ritter Park amphitheater and the other at Johnson
 Memorial Methodist Church, jointly sponsored by
 the Knights of Columbus, Council 963, and
the Huntington Ministerial Association.

A big parade stepped off at 10:30 a.m. and followed a route
 that took it past the 4th Avenue home of Huntington
Lodge 313, B.P.O. Elks, where local and
visiting dignitaries reviewed
 the marchers.

In addition to the customary musical bands and floats,
 the parade included 750 troops from the Army’s famed
Fifth “Red Diamond” Division, who motored to
Huntington from Camp Campbell, Kentucky.
 While here, the troops bivouacked at the
 circus grounds across 5th Avenue from
Huntington East High School.

Thousands of onlookers crowded the downtown sidewalks to take
 in the parade, which included veterans of World Wars I and II,
 a seemingly endless stream of military equipment, and
 contingents of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Camp
Fire Girls, along with members of the Daughters
 of the American Revolution (DAR) and
Sons of the American Revolutions (SAR).

The afternoon saw sports contests at Inco Field, Onized Field
 and St. Cloud Commons. That evening an estimated crowd
of 6,000 people attended an outdoor program, “The
Pageant of Nations,” at Fairfield Stadium, followed
by an elaborate fireworks display. Set off at the
circus grounds, the high-flying pyrotechnics
were visible over much of the city —
a colorful end to the big day.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on July 4, 2023.


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