Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of July 1976 - Looking Back 40 Years Ago

         HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY !!!



From my journal - my first trip to Europe when I was 17. I went with a group of about 20 high school students from Oregon and Washington lead by a high school teacher named Jerry.

July 4, 1976 - Geneva, Switzerland

"It was really rather embarrassing to wake up this morning and not remember that today was the BICENTENNIAL. I forgot...Jerry said all the stores were closed so he didn't know what we'd do for our picnic. But he asked around and found out that Geneva was having a huge bash for all the Americans here (the biggest outside of the U.S.). So we took a bus to go to that. And boy was it American. The American Ambassador to Switzerland was there - did he ever speak terrible French! A Black woman sang the national anthem. There was a hot-dog skiing exposition, and eight hand-gliders landed...I had a very good hamburger, ice cream, and cotton candy (isn't that American). 

There were millions of food stalls all over the place selling American food - french fries and beer, and watermelon...I also listened to a jazz band from California and walked to "Independence Hall" and saw a good exposition of American history...The fireworks were SPECTACULAR! Only 15 minutes long but they were continuous and there were 10 bursting at the same time. The sky was so bright you could see just like it was day. They had ones that whistled, and ones that exploded with a bright white flash, and huge flowers ones, and ones that exploded three different times, and all sorts of rocket types...I was surprised how many Swiss showed up to attended and so did a lot of "blue jean" types. A group of girls on the bus back to the hotel started singing every American song they could think of from "God Bless America" to "Row Row Row Your Boat"."

9 comments:

Vickie said...

Beth, I loved everything about this post. :D Thanks for sharing!

Carol said...

What a great peak into that historical year, Beth! How lucky you are to have kept (and saved!) your journal from way back then :)

Wishing you a Happy 4th!

Mouse said...

awwww what a lovely photo of you and great to " read " your journal from way back then ... happy 4th July :) love mouse xxxxx

Barb said...

This was such a great post! I had no idea that this would happen in other countries. Thanks for sharing!

Wanda said...

Beth, what a wonderful post! I love that you have your journals. What a wonderful picture! I really hate that I can talk about (and remember) things from well over 40 years ago!

Maggee said...

Wow!! You were a part of something very special... I bet they don't do that any more!! I can only guess what the 'blue jean' types were!!!!! I was a Navy wife by then...and had just moved to Virginia from California. What fun to share your journal of wonderful memories! I DID notice that you said it was your FIRST trip to Europe... how many times have you been there?

Marie C said...

Oh what a spectacular place to be for the Bicentennial! How exciting! It's wonderful of Switzerland to put out such a great celebration in our honor. I know you were glad you were there.

Robin Shepard said...

What a lovely detailed journal entry for being only 17!
Robin in Portland Oregon

Margaret said...

OK, the only thing that jumped out at me was -- 40 years ago. OMG. We're about the same age! 40 years? Really? OMG. lolol! Fun to read your entry though. I didn't have the luck to go on a Eurpean trip during high school. Nope. My school didn't do such things. Sigh.