Glorious Celebration of Fourth at Glen White
Beckley Band and Speakers Take Prominent Part-Community Picnic Followed
The Raleigh Register, Thursday, July 6, 1916
Patriotism and local pride, generosity and co-operation were the elements that brought together more than 3000 people in the beautiful mining town of Glen White, and made a reality of probably the most elaborate and enthusiastic Fourth of July demonstration planned within the mining regions of West Virginia.
The sun shone most gloriously on the natural amphitheater wherein willing hands had set nature's stage for a day of patriotic reverence and social festivities.
Early in the morning the farmers for miles around began to arrive. They brought their families with them and came for the whole day, to mingle again with the men of the mines and enjoy with them the good things prepared for the occasion.
Promptly at 10:30 o'clock a beautiful American flag 7 x 14 feet was hoisted to the top of the new steel flag pole erected on the lawn at the northern side of town. As Ol Glory was slowly being raised to its proud and lofty position a chorus of 200 voices sang the Star Spangled Banner, while the entire populace stood by with uncovered heads and paid their silent and respectful tribute to the greatest of all national emblems.
Three volleys from a firing squad saluted the flag as it floated proudly to the breeze, and as the last echo died amongst the stately hills the band struck up a lively march and led a procession of school children and citizens to the colored school house, in front of which another flag was raised with like ceremony.
The oration of the occasion followed immediately after the flag raisings and was delivered in forceful and elequent style by the Hon. J. Lewis Bumgardner of Beckley, one of West Virginia's most able men and a citizen of whom she might well feel proud.
Mr. Burngardner spoke of the growing impression that the great principle that underlie our country, its early struggle for freedom and the many sacrifices made by our forefathers that the nation might be perpetuated as the land of the free, were being forgotten in its remarkable growth and the scramble of its people for wealth and position.
The great outburst of patriotism now sweeping our land and the rush of hundreds of thousands of our best citizens to the colors he said should forever stamp out such erroneous impressions and convince us all that freedom lives forever.
A Virginian by birth and all his life a true and loyal son of the South, Mr. Burngardner paid a most beautiful and touching tribute to the United Nations of today, to the memory of the boys who wore the gray, and he had naught but contempt for him who would pluck one leaf from the wreath from the wreath of one to add it to the garland of the other.
In conclusion the speaker addressed himself to our citiaens who had come from other shores, told them what a great honor had been bestowed upon them when granted the documents that gave unto them all the rights and privileges of this great nation, and pleaded with them to assist those who had come and were yet to be made citizens, to learn our language, learn our customs, and above all, learn to love the flag that protects us all and gives us more liberty than is enjoyed by any country under the whole canopy of heaven.
Following Mr. Burngardner, the Rev. W.R. Woodson, pastor of Glen White Colored Baptist Church delivered a short but most impressive address. He told of the ambition of the colored man to share in our country's glory and quoted the many instances wherein the Sons of Ham had played a conspicious part in the making of our country's history. Rev. Woodson told of the colored man's great love of country, recalled how willingly and bravely he charged up San Juan Hill, and created an outburst of applause when he referred to the gallant colored troopers of the ninth and tenth United States Cavalry who only a few days ago gave their lives on the hot sands of Mexico's deserts.
Luncheon served to everybody from stands located throughout the shady grove near Town Hall was followed by a continuous program of sports. Two games of baseball resulted in victory for the Glen White team over Slab Fork in a rather one-sided game by the score of 9 to 2 while Tams colored team got the better of Glen White colored team by the score of 7 to 3.During the entire day and until the darkness of night drew the curtain over this most glorious celebration the beckley Band a new and most creditable musical organization discoursed pleasing and catchy musical numbers to the delight of everybody.