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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sugar Land's Fourth of July Celebration 95 Years Ago

I've found contemporaneous newspaper articles describing how  Sugar Land celebrated the 4th in 1919 - 95 years ago.  It was an all-day affair that started at school campus on the banks of Cleveland Lake where everyone enjoyed sporting exhibitions and a barbecue lunch.  

Afterward they went to Lonnie Green Park, to watch children compete in various races.  At that time, Lonnie Green Park was located on the block bounded by Main, 4th, Wood, and 5th Streets, which was vacant of residential housing.  Churches and homes were built on that block a couple of years later, and decades later Lonnie Green Park was re-established on the north bank of Cleveland Lake along 1st St.

As soon as the races were over, the crowd walked to the ball park, which was then located in what is now the west parking lot of Kempner Field.  They first watched an exhibition game pitting Sugar Land's 'Fats' versus the town's 'Leans.'  It lasted just three innings because the Fats pooped out.  (The newspaper account is pretty funny.)

A serious game followed: the Sugar Land Blues played Rosenberg.  The Blues were missing some important players, and Rosenberg was undefeated, but the home-town nine were victorious in a one-run squeaker that went 10 innings.

Next up on the agenda was a fried-chicken dinner for WWI veterans at the Auditorium.  Sponsors were the Chamber of Commerce, the Red Cross, and Sugarland Industries.

The young crowd finished the evening with a dance on the roof of the Auditorium.

As you'll see if you read the accounts, there was a separate celebration for colored (African-American) veterans in the Quarters (Mayfield Park).