In 1976 the United States celebrated the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. Any American who remembers that year will tell you it was a very big deal. And it wasn’t just that year. People started getting ready for it in the early 70s.
A nice reader from Canada, Sarah, recently sent this U.S. Bicentennial scarf my way. What makes it really interesting is that the label has the date on it.
Yes, there was a lot of money to be made on history, and it was best to get a headstart.
For those of you unfamiliar with US history (and I hope I’m referring to people outside of the US!) I’ll identify some of the images. In the center of the scarf, starting at the top you see Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Continental Congress was meeting, and where the signing of the Declaration (and years later, also the US Constitution) took place.
Moving clockwise the big blue blob shows the five members of the committee that was in charge of writing the document. The tall guy is Thomas Jefferson, who gets most of the credit. Next is the brave and strong Minuteman, who stood his ground at Lexington:
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.
And to the left you see Washington Crossing the Delaware, which led to the Continental Army defeating a lot of holiday-happy Hessians at Trenton, New Jersey in December 1776. Note the flag, which did not exist until well into 1777!
At the left is Paul Revere, who left Boston to warn the countryside that the British were coming. Revere got lucky. Two other guys made the trip that night, but few remember their names because they were not chosen by Longfellow to be in his famously inaccurate poem.
Skipping the drum, the next figure is Molly Pitcher, or Mary Ludwig Hays, who followed her soldier husband into war (a common practice; someone had to do the laundry) . In 1778 he was hit while firing his cannon, and Molly, who had been delivering pitchers of water to the fighters, took up his place at the weapon. She was actually granted a pension by the state of Pennsylvania.
I’m not sure that that thing on the left is. Any ideas? The bell is the Liberty Bell, with its big crack. Historians are pretty sure that the bell was not rung on July 4, 1776, but it may have been rung on the 8th when the document was publicly read. The crack did not appear until some years later.
I came up empty on information about Selann, but if you want to see a thousand photos of Selena Gomez with a scarf around her neck, just google images “Selann scarf.”
The Banash label says the firm was founded in 1888, which does seem to be the case, as it was located on Washington Street, Boston, as Banash and Kornfeld, Milliners.
My thanks to Sarah, who gave me this opportunity to put my history teacher’s hat back on for a little while.