Independence Day (1932)

Liberty County for many years celebrated each Independ­ence Day with some kind of a celebration, usually on grounds of the National Guard Armory at Hinesville. The events changed but little, and the big attraction was a chance for people to get together, swap news, and enjoy being with each other.


Just such an event took place on July 4, 1932. The pro­gram started at ten in the morning, but people in outlying areas had probably been up before daybreak. They traveled to Hinesville by horse and wagon since there were few auto­mobiles in the county during those early depression years.


First thing on the program was music by the Liberty-Long String Band. Two of its principals were J.E. Groover on fiddle and Ben Way on banjo. Spectators in the National Guard Armory grandstand sat and smiled and tapped their toes as they listened to tunes popular before the Civil War.


At eleven o’clock, Reverend J.F. Merrin , pastor of the Flemington Presbyterian Church, gave the invocation. This was followed by speeches of welcome by C.B. Jones, chair­man of the Liberty County Board of Commissioners, and Joseph B. Fraser Jr., mayor of Hinesville.


The first major speech of the day was by B.M. Luftburrow of the Georgia Forestry Department. He spoke on the com­ing importance of Liberty County timberlands. The Liberty­Long String Band then played still more toe-tapping tunes.


After the musical interlude, Colonel E.G. Butler intro­duced the principal speaker of the day. He was Charles E. Herty, a Savannah chemist, who spoke on new paper products being manufactured from pine trees.


It was then time for the noon meal. The food was donated by private citizens and members of the Liberty County Fair Association.


In the afternoon, the Liberty Independent Troop presented some of its mounted drills and fea ts of horsemanship. The day ended with a baseball game between Hinesville and Cobbtown, Georgia.


The person largely responsible for the celebration, and others like it, was Joseph B. Fraser Jr. He was president of the Liberty County Fair Association in 1932, and the guiding spirit of the Liberty County Fair throughout the 1930’s.