No other town does July 4th like the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection! There is a host of many wonderful many events taking place, and I want to point out that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation AND the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement!
The July 4th festivities also include recognition of this milestone. As a matter of fact, the day begins with a Celebration of Freedom which commemorates the Emancipation Proclamation. On theSteps of Independence Hall at 6th and Chestnut streets from 10-11 a.m., there will be a tribute to the history of our great nation at Independence Hall. The morning will be full of music, speeches and a reading of excerpts from the Declaration of Independence.
Here are 10 facts about the Emancipation Proclamation that I bet you didn’t know!
Fact #1: Lincoln actually issued the Emancipation Proclamation twice.
Fact #2: The Emancipation Proclamation only applied to the states in rebellion.
Fact #3: Lincoln’s advisors did not initially support the Emancipation Proclamation.
Fact #4: The Battle of Antietam (also known as Sharpsburg) provided the necessary Union victory to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
Fact #5: The Emancipation Proclamation was a firm demonstration of the President’s executive war powers.
Fact #6: The Emancipation Proclamation changed the focus of the war.
Fact #7: The Emancipation Proclamation helped prevent the involvement of foreign nations in the Civil War.
Fact #8: The Emancipation Proclamation paved the way for African-Americans to fight for their freedom.
Fact #9: The Emancipation Proclamation led the way to total abolition of slavery in the United States.
Fact #10: Lincoln considered the Emancipation Proclamation the crowning achievement of his presidency.
Highlighted Independence Day Festivities
Independence Day Parade: From 5th and Chestnut streets to Front and Market streets, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Join 5,000 participants from across the country as they march through the nation’s most historic mile for the annualIndependence Day Parade. The old-time Fourth of July parade features floats, marching bands, military groups and more.
Wawa Welcome America’s Party on the Parkway: Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 18th and 23rd streets, noon-7 p.m. During the day, the blocked-off Parkway begins to fill with festival-goers by the thousands for theParty on the Parkway. Check out music, dancing, cultural activities, arts and crafts and live entertainment on the 4th. Don’t miss warm-up acts on theGlobal Music StageQuestlove Stage with a sweet lineup of up-and-coming artists like GoGo Morrow, Chill Moody and Gliss.
Wawa Welcome America’s Philly 4th of July Jam: Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 18th and 23rd streets, 7-11 p.m. Join the Roots and special musical guests for the free concert event of the season — billed as “the largest free outdoor concert in the country.” The main event is hosted this year by Philadelphia comedian Kevin Hart with performances fromheadliners John Mayer, J. Cole, Grace Potter, Jill Scott, Ne-Yo, Ben Taylor, Hunter Hayes (who was just added to the lineup in place of an ill Demi Lovato) and, of course, The Roots. And those are just the artists that have been announced. If you’ve watched the Jam in the past, you know music director Questlove and The Roots usually bring out a few special guests (surprise guest Lauryn Hill killed it last year). Concert programming begins around 7 p.m., with the first performance estimated at 8 p.m. And for the first time, the concert will also televised and live streamed from 8 to 11 p.m. byVH1!
Wawa Welcome America’s Grand Finale Fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway: After nearly a week of blockbuster events, Wawa Welcome America presents its annual Grand Finale Fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The epic, free fireworks show illuminates the sky high above Philadelphia Museum of Art. The show is slated to begin at about 10:30 p.m., but depending on the timing of the concert beforehand (you never know, special guests might extend the show’s duration!) the fireworks start time is approximate. Check out ourwhere to watch guide and interactive map for insider tips on where to catch the patriotic pyrotechnics.