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Reason to Celebrate


Tomorrow is a big day for our country—the Fourth of July. We prepare early for the big day, when we are allowed, and almost expected, to shoot off firecrackers, to feast on apple and cherry pie, watermelon, hot dogs and hamburgers, to wear red, white, and blue, even to display flags—anything, to show our love of country.

On this day in 1929, the people of Belfield were looking forward to a "Big Free 4th of July Celebration." Celebrations technically started on this day with an afternoon and evening Chatauqua showing. However, the day of honor officially kicked off at sunrise the next day with a "mighty roar of guns and bombs." The day included a band concert on Main Street, a Grand Parade, a Patriotic Program, a Baseball Game, a game of Tug-of-War, foot races, "fat men" and "fat ladies" races, sack races, potato races, horse races, pony races, a street dance, and, of course, a "tremendous display of fireworks."

The celebration was a soaring success, and an estimated six to seven thousand people from "far and near" participated in it.

The Billings County Pioneer commended the police department for the "efficient manner in which all traffic was handled," citing that no accidents occurred throughout the day. Belfield defeated Beach in the baseball game, Stark County won over Billings County in the Tug-of-War, and both counties had many other winners in all of the other games.

And the fireworks display, "on the hill south of town," and the bowery dance were well-attended and greatly enjoyed.

One minor incident was reported. It seems an airplane was taking up passengers south of Belfield and flying them around. After one trip, as it was starting to land, an unnamed farmer from the Ukrainian neighborhood drove down the same speedway on which the airplane was about to land. When the plane came down on the speedway, it ran into the car.

There was little damage to the car, and no one was injured, but the airplane was damaged and taken out of commission. Moreover, it was to be two weeks or more before the plane could be operated again.

However, the incident was reported as more historic—after all, "nowhere else in the country was there reported a collision between an automobile and an airplane."

A safe, happy holiday—that's a reason to celebrate.

By Sarah Walker


Billings County Pioneer, June 27, 1929, p.1

Billings County Pioneer, July 11, 1929, p.1