1927: Wausau residents skip town for national holiday
Wausau-area residents were heading north to escape heat and to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, and surrounding communities were making plans for fireworks displays marking the same holiday, on July 1, 1927, according to that day's Wausau Daily Record-Herald.
Mayor Otto Muenchow's proclamation, printed in that day's paper, declared in part: "I ask that the people of our community not only participate in the observance of this, our nation's birthday, but that they pause and reflect upon what this wonderful gift meands to them. I also urge that homes and business places in Wausau be decorated with the national colors in an apporpriate manner." The proclamation included directions on properly displaying the American flag.
Local organizations had exhibited a "lack of interest" in staging citywide celebrations - read: fireworks - during the previous few years, in part because so many people headed out of town, but city officials noted the positive side: a decline in fires, injuries and deaths resulting from explosives.
Sales of fireworks had been declining as well, although boys were having "their little 'noise' parties" since seasonal sales of fireworks began. So far, none of the children had been seriously hurt.
Celebrations were planned in Mosinee, Edgar, Athens, Wittenberg, Marathon and Halder, and Wausau folks who hadn't headed north were likely to visit a neighboring community for their annual dose of patriotic fervor. The largest Fourth of July observance was expected to be in Mosinee and would include running races, pie-eating contests, log rolling, pony races and speeches including reading the Declaration of Independence. Dances and fireworks would finish the evening festivities.
Residents who hadn't yet made reservations for their preferred Northwoods destination were warned in the newspaper report that they would encounter "a great deal of trouble in locating accommodations if they have not already done so." Summer resorts were booked ahead "by city folks from the south."
Passenger trains, "both the fish specials and the regular trains" also were full of travelers from Milwaukee, Chicago and other cities seeking relief from extreme heat that had claimed three lives in two days in Milwaukee.