www.nps.gov/morr Official Websiet
July 2016  Newsletter

Thank you for subscribing to Morristown National Historical Park's e-newsletter. We are pleased to keep you connected to your national park.

Revolutionary Times Weekend in Morristown
Saturday, July 2nd through Monday, July 4th

Morristown National Historical Park is proud to be a part of this great event. Washington's Headquarters Museum and the Ford Mansion will be FEE-FREE for the holiday weekend, 7/2 - 7/4. Join us at Washington's Headquarters Museum on Sunday, July 3rd for The United States Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. They will perform on the lawn between the Ford Mansion and the museum from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Reenactors will also be on the grounds all day.

On Monday, July 4th we will be celebrating Independence Day with a reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Morristown Green. March with Revolutionary War reenactors from the Ford Mansion at 11 am to the Green where the reading of the Declaration will occur at 12:00 noon. There will also be music and a musket salute.
Summer Hours of Operation: July 1st to August 31st

The National Park Service at Morristown National Historical Park is pleased to announce that it will begin its seven-day-a-week, summer hours of operation on  July 1, 2016.

Both the Washington's Headquarters Museum and Jockey Hollow Visitor Center buildings will be open daily from  9:30 am to 5:00 pm.

The Ford Mansion also will be open daily with tours at  10:00 am11:00 am1:00 pm2:00 pm3:00 pm, and  4:00 pm. Tickets for Ford Mansion tours must be obtained in the Washington's Headquarters Museum.

The grounds of all park areas will be open from  8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

On August 31, 2015, the park will resume its regular  Wednesday through  Sunday operating schedule.
What's Cooking at the Wick House?
Sunday, July 17th 11:00 - 3:00 pm

Even on a hot day, colonists needed a fire to cook their meals. Visit the Wick House to learn how cooking with fire is not much different than cooking today. Demonstration will include the use of a variety of 18th century cooking ovens.

Join a ranger for this FREE program! Thanks to the renovations of the Wick House chimney and hearth that occurred this winter, we are happy to again offer living history cooking programs for our visitors.

Bear Safety Reminder

We have been receiving reports of black bear sightings in Jockey Hollow as well as questions on what to do when encountering a bear. Do not approach or feed bears. Do not run away from bears. Make sure the bear has an escape route. If needed, alter your route and remember the bear has the right of way. For more common sense bear safety tips, visit the link below. Be Bear Aware! 

Celebrating July 4th

Celebrating American independence is one of our biggest holidays, but it took a little while to develop. The bill declaring our independence was approved on July 2, 1776 and John Adams predicted that in the future July 2nd would become a major American holiday. He said: "It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."

Two days later on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence, the document that explained why America wanted to be independent, was approved by the Continental Congress.

News traveled slowly in 18th century America. Washington's army in New York City didn't learn of the declaration until July 9, 1776 and in Boston the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence didn't occur until July 18th. As a result, the declaration was celebrated on different dates at different places.

In 1777 on the first anniversary of the declaration, few people even thought about celebrating. For example, Washington and his army were camped in Morristown on July 4, 1777, but they were more concerned with where the British were going to attack next, so there was no time for celebrations.

It wasn't until the following year, 1778, that Washington's army celebrated American independence. Following the battle of Monmouth, in early July 1778, Washington's army was camped near New Brunswick, N.J. On July 3rd Washington issued orders for a celebration the next day: "Tomorrow, the Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence will be celebrated by the firing thirteen Pieces of Cannon and a fue de joie [musket fire] of the whole line; the Army will be formed on the Brunswick side of the Rariton at five o'Clock in the afternoon on the ground pointed out by the Quarter Master General. The Soldiers are to adorn their Hats with Green-Boughs and to make the best appearance possible.... Double allowance of rum will be
served out."

Interestingly, Washington stated in the orders that July 4th, the date printed on the Declaration of Independence, was the holiday to be celebrated rather than July 2nd , the actual day independence was declared. At this point for most people the act and the document had become one and they both were associated with the date of the document, July 4th.

From this point on, Americans celebrated the American independence pretty much the way John Adams had predicted,...except for the date.

Happy Independence Day!

Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the park or our ranger programs. We can be reached at 973-539-2016 ext.210. Come out and explore your national park and "America's Best Idea." 


Morristown National Historical Park | 973-539-2016 ext.210 morr_interpretation@nps.gov | http://www.nps.gov/morr
30 Washington Place
Morristown, NJ 07960