Some notable July Fourth occurrences in Nevada City |

Some notable July Fourth occurrences in Nevada City

1851: A bull-and-bear fight was staged at the plaza, (now the Stonehouse Restaurant parking lot), with the animals tethered to stakes. Rumor has it the bear won.

1908: U.S. Attorney Francis Heney was Orator of the Day. Three months later, in a San Francisco courtroom, Heney was shot in the head, but survived the attack and lived until 1937.

1910: The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce paid for a special narrow gauge train to run that day from Colfax, and hundreds of Placer County residents took advantage of the free roundtrip.

1934: Forty-eight Nevada City Elementary School students, including young Dave Tobiassen bedecked as the State of South Carolina, marched in the parade. Fifty years later, Dave was elected to the city council, served as mayor and in 1992 was elected to the county board of supervisors.

1940: Spectators heard an unusual rendition of the National Anthem when a Grass Valley electronics store owner attached large speakers to the outside of a rented airplane and buzzed downtown Nevada City while blasting “Oh, say can you see…” to the bewildered crowd below.

1952: Bob Paine, hoping to draw attention to Nevada City, publicly suggested that the July Fourth parade be held July Fifth. Although the traditional date was never in doubt, statewide publicity from the imaginative ruse attracted 25,000 spectators, clogged highways 49 and 20, and resulted in what the CHP called, “The worst traffic jam in the county’s history.”

1984: Following an accident at Pioneer Park, when an errant chunk of flaming fireworks landed atop a young child, the chamber decided to start holding post-parade pyrotechnic displays at the county fairgrounds.

– Submitted by Steve Cottrell

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