“I got my hands up, they’re playin’ my song, they know I’m gonna be okay. Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A.” — Miley Cyrus
Commemorating the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, Independence Day was declared a federal holiday in 1870.
In 1941, thanks to 32 — shorthand for the shorthand FDR, a.k.a. POTUS Franklin Delano Roosevelt (I could talk in acronyms all day, I once worked in IT) — it became a paid federal holiday.
FDR was not an author of the Declaration — he was born over a century later — but he did an awful lot for America: he brought us out of the Great Depression, saw us through World War II, established the New Deal (which included Social Security), and much, much more.
He was so popular he was elected president four consecutive times. In 1932 he won the popular vote and received 472 electoral votes, carrying 42 states. In ’36 he won 60 percent of the popular vote, with only Maine and Vermont electorates backing his opponent. The 1940 and 1944 elections held more of the same, but to a slightly lesser degree. It’s hard to imagine an America so in tune with each other. I mean, four terms equals 12 years (I did the math for you, you’re welcome), and the majority of Americans agreed that FDR was the right man for the times. Under his guidance, America prospered. Had he not come into power, as they say, the outlook for America was very bleak.
FDR never visited Palm Springs, but his son Elliot built a gorgeous mid-century home in Indian Wells before he moved to Arizona. You can peek it here. (Side note: Elliot was a writer. He wrote mystery novels based at the White House, all solved by none other than his intrepid mother, the great Eleanor Roosevelt.)
If you’re celebrating the Fourth this year, here are the fun and fabulous celebrations lighting up Palm Springs:
Courtesy of the city of Palm Springs (a.k.a. free events)
July 1: Stay cool while enjoying the family friendly dive-in movie Jungle Cruise. The fun starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Palm Springs Swim Center, 405 S. Pavilion Way, in the Sunrise Plaza Complex.
July 2: Celebrate with a drone show and concert featuring music from Petty and the Heartshakers. 6:30 p.m. at Downtown Park, Museum Way at Belardo Road (adjacent to the Forever Marilyn sculpture).
July 3: Watch the ’80s classic Goonies at Ruth Hardy Park, 700 Tamarisk Road. The flick starts at 7:30 p.m.
July 4: Grab your suits and attend the family-friendly pool party at the Palm Springs Swim Center. There will be water games, an inflatable slide, music, and great food. You can also watch the city’s “All American Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular” at Palm Springs Stadium from the pool. The fun will last from 3 p.m. until the fireworks are over. Palm Springs Swim Center, 405 S. Pavilion Way.
July 4: Concert in the Park: “Turn the Page, Tribute to Bob Seger” in Sunrise Park, 480 S. Sunrise Way, 5:30 p.m.
Pay to play
July 4: Independence Day Celebration and Fundraiser for AAP – Food Samaritans
Perched on the mountainside above the Palm Springs Art Museum is the O’Donnell House, where they are holding a benefit for Food Samaritans from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. Powerhouse singer and entertainer Keisha D will provide the entertainment while Willie Rhine and his highly regarded Eight4Nine team will cater the event. View the city of Palm Springs’ fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $175. For more information, call 760-325-8481 or click the above link.
July 4: Palm Springs Power Baseball “All Stars Summer Collegiate Game,” Palm Springs Stadium, 1901 Baristo Road, 6 p.m. (with fireworks at 9:15 p.m.).
July 4: Palm Springs Cultural Center — There’s something for everyone on the agenda. Rock out to all your favorite ’80s hits with music provided by DJ Mod Girl (she’s a party all by herself!), and relive the campy glory of Rocky IV in an air-conditioned theater (the screening is free!). Hang outside in the cool zone in one of the petite party pools, play fun games to win prizes, and enjoy an All-American barbecue (hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato chips). Additional food and non-alcoholic drinks are available for purchase from the Camelot Cafe and Concessions stand (and alcoholic beverages are available at outside bars). The event starts at 3 p.m., with the fireworks show starting at 9:15. Purchase a seat so you can comfortably watch the show (as part of the price, you’ll also get one of those barbecue meals). 2300 E. Baristo Road.
Stay safe everyone!