could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

 Celebrations in 1919, Part  1

A. Usual kinds of Celebrations

Jan. 15 - Rotary Club had banquet for members and wives to celebrate the new year

1. Anniversaries – Silver anniversary celebrated [no golden, 50th]

2. Birthdays - Birthday celebrations throughout the year – a man turned 80, Louisa Collins turned 88
       Jean Botsford celebrated her 7th birthday with a party with 7 friends
       A Gibbon girl celebrated her 9th birthday with a big dinner with relatives, “including a huge wedding cake.”

3. March 31 – Junior & Senior normal school classes had a “Fool’s Convention” party to celebrate April Fool’s Day coming up the next day.
       Gym was “decorated with heads of cabbage, onions, whisk brooms, feather dusters, and other pieces of
       foolishness.” Those attending wore “ludicrous masquerade costumes” and “foolish games and fool-hardy ‘stunts’”
       were the evening’s entertainment.

B. Independence Day Celebration

Began with a big parade with decorated autos at 10 am

At 11:30 – Judge Ryan of Grand Island delivered Independence Day speech
       An aviator was to fly over the city [wouldn’t that distract from the speech?]

Afternoon – races at the fairgrounds
       Aviator flew over the fairgrounds & did stunts, maybe took up a few passengers

Evening – Band concert; dancing at several places

7:15 – Several races with cash prizes held south of the high school just before the band concert
       Fat man’s race
       Roller skating and foot races for boys and girls 14 and under
            Girls and boys running and skating separately, of course

       Potato race, anyone under 15

At State Industrial School, boys given day off from their tasks
       Athletic contests and a water fight using school’s fire fighting equipment
       Band concert by SIS band, followed by “bountiful supper, ending with ice cream and cake”

C. Halloween

“Halloween was celebrated in the old fashioned way by Kearney’s youth.

      Rigs of every description were found on Central avenue the next morning, from potato planters to tractors,
      buggies and wagons.

      Windows were given the most liberal soaping they have had in years.

      But there were few instances of real damage having been done or reported to the police.”

D. Armistice Day - honoring returning servicemen

This was the big celebration of the year

1. Reason for delay in honoring our servicemen
       Armistice signed Nov11, 1918

       Throughout summer and fall 1919 various towns held celebrations honoring their returning soldiers – Holdrege,
       Poole, Minden, Pleasanton, Ravenna, Lexington

       While the American Legion is a national organization, the Kearney chapter did not form until the summer of 1919

       City leaders wanted to work with them on a celebration honoring the ex-service men in the city and county

In the midst of all this, Kearney lost one of its Civil War veterans
Sept. 4 – John Lawler died at age 78. He was born in Ireland, emigrated and enlisted in Army in Indiana to fight in the Civil War. After the war he came to Kearney County in 1880 and lived in area until moving to Kearney from Minden a few years ago.

Called “Uncle Johnny”, he was always at patriotic celebrations in his faded blue uniform, GAR button on lapel, canteen on belt, bayonet-tipped Civil War musket.

He fired a salute when a group of our boys left for camp. He joined in armistice celebration, firing his musket. [He was probably missed at the upcoming 1st anniversary of Armistice Day]

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Revised: 02/26/2019