Going Fourth

Going Fourth

America’s 246th birthday happens Monday, and we’re RSVPing yes.

In the meantime, we might head to the Beinecke Library, which is once more marking the Fourth of July with a display of “essential documents of U.S. history.” The headliner is a Dunlap Broadside, “one of the 26 known copies of the historic first printing of the Declaration of Independence” and “the original means by which people learned of the nation’s independence.”

Maybe we’ll get Revolutionary spirit at City Hall, open today (but not Monday) from 9 to 5, where the moment Benedict Arnold joined New Haven to the Revolution is memorialized up the main stairs, and where all-star Founding Father Roger Sherman’s mayoral portrait hangs on the mezzanine above.

sponsored by

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

We might also stop at the Yale University Art Gallery, where a whole battalion of Revolutionary War paintings, rendered by the gallery’s founding father John Trumbull, are mustered in the eastern wing.

For spirit at scale—and in 3D!—we might advance southward on Defenders’ Park, where three roughly life-size figures work a cannon to remember the resistance New Haveners gave to marauding redcoats in 1779. Or we might round the harbor and walk the grounds of the New Haven Museum’s Pardee-Morris House, which dates to the era, or nearby Fort Nathan Hale Park, named for the failed local spy-turned-national inspiration. A replica cannon on a small firing deck there memorializes the spot where a handful of New Haveners fired at that invading British force in 1779.

At 9 p.m. Monday, bombs will also be bursting in air, during the city fireworks show. Exploding in the usual place above East Rock, the official viewing grounds are the athletic fields at Wilbur Cross High School.

Of course, if you’re feeling too independent or revolutionary to watch from the established spot, we’ll understand.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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