Independence Day at OSV

Event Details

Independence Day at OSV

Time: July 4, 2012 from 9:30am to 5pm
Location: Old Sturbridge Village
Street: 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road
City/Town: Sturbridge
Website or Map:
Phone: 800-SEE-1830
Event Type: osv, independence day, july 4
Organized By: OSV
Latest Activity: Jun 11, 2012

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Event Description

July 4 Independence Day Celebration

Independence Day was the biggest holiday of the year in the early 19th century, and Old Sturbridge Village will re-create the day in all of its early patriotic glory.  Visitors can sign their own "John Hancocks" on a huge copy of the Declaration of Independence, take part in a Citizens' Procession, and learn to play old-fashioned "base ball."

In honor of this year's presidential election, Old Sturbridge Village historians will roll out two iconic symbols from the Election of 1840 -- a "Log Cabin Wagon" and a giant "Campaign Ball." The Election of 1840 was the first modern presidential campaign, which pitted incumbent Democrat Martin Van Buren against Whig challenger William Henry Harrison.

The 1840 campaign was the first modern, media-driven presidential election, full of symbolism, songs, slogans, souvenirs, and plenty of mud-slinging. Both parties nominated their candidates at national conventions for the first time, and Harrison became the first presidential candidate to actively campaign on his own behalf.

The Whigs dubbed their candidate, Harrison, “The Hero of Tippecanoe” (a minor frontier skirmish back in 1811) and sought to gain the public's attention with mass political rallies, parades, speeches, and campaign paraphernalia. With the motto, "Keep the ball rolling!" they attracted attention by rolling large, brightly painted "Campaign Balls," covered with political slogans from city to city with much fanfare. Whig parades also included "Log Cabin Wagons" portraying Harrison as a man of the people – even though he grew up on a large Virginia plantation, not in a log cabin.

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is one of the largest living history museums in the country.  The museum is open daily 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. seven days a week.  OSV offers free parking and a free return visit within 10 days. Admission: $24; seniors $22; children 3-17, $8; children 2 and under, free. Woo Card subscribers get $5 off adult daytime admission; college Woo cardholders receive $12 off adult daytime admission. For times and details of all OSV activities visit: or call 1-800-SEE-1830.

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