Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th in music ... and intimate jottings of the Founding Fathers

Stephen Foster, the great American songwriter who composed “Beautiful Dreamer,” “Hard Times Come Again No More,” “Camptown Races,” “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair,” and “Old Folks at Home” was born on this date in 1826 in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania—not in the South as one might think from the context and tenor of some of his songs.
George M. Cohan, of “Yankee Doodle Boy” fame, claimed to have been born on the 4th, but he fudged it a bit: his birth date was actually the 3rd of July.
Have you picked out a spot for viewing fireworks tonight?
Here's a nice video explaining and illustrating the "Founders Online" project of digitizing their letters so scholars and the public can peruse them by date, topic, or other criteria.


  1. It's nice to know that so many historical documents are going to be digitally/electronically archived and that we are going to be able to access them long after the physical items no longer exist.

  2. I couldn't agree more. It's so essential to hold tight to our traditions:)

  3. George M. Cohan... claimed to have been born on the 4th, but he fudged it a bit.

    So did Louis Armstrong, who also claimed he came in with a new century: July 4, 1900. (His actual birthdate: August 4, 1901.)