On this day 237 years ago, John Adams foresaw what was going to happen on the Fourth of July in Douglas County.
The Founding Father predicted Americans would forever celebrate their independence with “pomp and parade, with shows, games, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations.”
As we review this week’s activities planned in Douglas County, we can check off nearly everything Adams anticipated.
Parades? Riddle and Yoncalla will have parades.
Games? All over the place. In Yoncalla, for example, kids will play pioneer games. We’ll see the fun that children raised on video games can have with a hoop and wheelbarrow.
Shows? The finals of the Riddle Sawdust Jubilee talent show are 7 to 9 tonight. Plus, there will be live music at festivals in Roseburg, Yoncalla, Riddle and Winston on Thursday. And don’t forget the car shows.
Illuminations? Oh, yes, we will have illuminations. There will be fireworks displays Thursday in Roseburg, Yoncalla, Riddle, Winston and over Winchester Bay and Diamond Lake.
Adams didn’t foresee some events, like an outhouse race, Zumba demonstration and karaoke. All three activities will be part of the three-day Sawdust Jubilee, which started Tuesday and ends Thursday.
The Sawdust Jubilee is the champ when it comes to scheduling something for everyone — bingo, pro wrestling, wiener dog races. If you are tired of the Sawdust Jubilee, you are tired of life.
And this year the fun began on the date Adams was actually talking about when he predicted unceasing revelry “from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore.”
On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution to break from England and declare its independence. The next day, July 3, a fired-up Adams wrote his wife, Abigail, and said July 2 was the start of something really big. “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival,” he wrote.
He was off by two days because on July 4 the Continental Congress did something that only democracies do.
The revolutionaries adopted a resolution explaining to the world why it was breaking from the mother country.
When people do such a radical thing “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation,” according to the resolution, better known as the Declaration of Independence, which is mostly a list of grievances against King George III.
So we celebrate the day the Founding Fathers explained their actions, setting a good example for all levels of government from that time forward, forevermore.