Saturday, July 03, 2010

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July! To celebrate, what could be more American than a replica of Independence Hall built by Mr. Patriot himself, Walter Knott? Dedicated on July 4, 1966, Buena Park's version of this iconic structure grew from Walter's desire to honor the American ideals that had made his own amazing success possible, and his desire to share his love of freedom, liberty, and American history with young people.
The photo above shows some of the first young visitors to the building. Since most Orange County kids were unlikely to visit Philadelphia any time soon, this building and its exhibits made the story of the American Revolution come alive in a way school books could not. And it still does.
The photo above shows a newly completed Independence Hall and a narrow, 1966 version of Beach Blvd. The billboard, announcing the attraction's upcoming grand opening, was designed and hand-painted by artists Don Treece and Jerry Nicholson.
The photo below shows the interior of Heritage Hall, next door to Independence Hall, which held additional exhibits highlighting even more American history, including the Westward Movement. (A natural at Knott's Berry Farm.) At one point, Heritage Hall also featured a small theater where films about American history were shown.
Imagine! Teaching children that America is a GOOD thing! Of course, they'd excised that kind of talk from schools long before I got there.
Today we know that "individual freedom" means having a variety of wireless service carriers to choose from. And we evolved and modern folk now understand that "liberty" means no longer having to make decisions for ourselves.
The statue above, by sculptor Claude Bell, still looks out over Highway 39. It depicts a Minuteman -- one of the simple farmers and working folk who took up arms and gave their lives to give us freedom, liberty, sovereignty, and a nation ruled by law and the will of the people rather than the whims of tyrants and kings.
Remember the Minutemen and all who followed in their footsteps this Independence Day. Let's try to be worthy of their sacrifice.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

AWESOME Post - I echo your sentiments exactly! The 1966 roadside photo is wonderful.

Happy Independence day to you Chris, "Let's try to be worthy of their sacrifice" Indeed....

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris- another great post about the real OC. Yes, I remember when it opened. Can't remember if I went there with my folks or boy scouts.

And a happy 4th to you, your family and your blog readers everywhere.

-from an ex HB kid now living on the east coast

outsidetheberm said...

Nice post.

I remember sitting on my dad's shoulders watching the opening day speeches for Knott's Independence Hall.

Happy 4th, Chris!

Anonymous said...

Great post-- and great comments.

Connie Moreno said...

I remember when it opened and I have visited many times. It always brings me chills...Too bad they don't ADVERTISE it!!!

I must say I almost fell out of my chair to see Beach Blvd. as a narrow street with no sidewalks, LOL!!!

Marcy of The Glamorous Life said...

Great post! Love this.

Oh and if you wanna see it is a little video. It is after the half way mark (like 3 minutes I think)

walterworld said...

Your commentary is spot-on Chris.

I'm not sure why America opted for self-loathing and the abdication of personal responsibility but that seems to be the prevailing trend.

God help us.