Fayette continues to celebrate Americanism Day after 80 years
By Karl Polacek
Published: Saturday, April 27, 2013, 12:46 a.m.
The celebration of Americanism Day in Fayette County started 80 years ago on May 1, 1933.
And this year, the celebration continues.
Americanism Day was instituted in Uniontown in 1933 when five men — Uniontown police Chief A.W. Davis, recruiting Sgt. James Smith, Matty Bain, Mason McLaughlin and Allen Parke — decided to hold a rally and parade, said Louis Giachetti Sr., who has served as chairman and parade marshal for a number of years.
“It was a compromise aimed at diffusing labor unrest from a dispute and avoiding a possible riot by communists, who wanted to hold a celebration to coincide with May Day in Russia,” said Giachetti, reading from his prepared history. “A coal strike spawned radical acts in mining towns in the county and, at the same time, groups of communists asked permission to hold a parade to celebrate May Day.
“The city was facing a dilemma of risking a riot if the parade was held and stirring up controversy by denying permission for the parade.”
The five men, all members of the American Legion, solved the problem by proposing Americanism Day and including ethnic groups, school children, unions, military veterans, the American Legion and fraternal organizations from around Fayette County.
In 1937, state legislators from Fayette County succeeded in getting a joint resolution passed naming May 1 as Americanism Day.
Giachetti said the celebration in Uniontown has been cut back a bit in recent years, due to the economy.
“But it still is a day to celebrate the ideals and remember those who served and those who have lost their lives defending America,” he said. “Now, 80 years later, the celebration is still going strong,”
Elizabeth McLaughlin, daughter of one of the founders, will be honored, as she has been for every year. McLaughlin has been participating in the parade since it began.
The parade in Uniontown will begin at 7 p.m. on Penn Street and North Gallatin Avenue, proceed on North Gallatin to Main Street, make a right onto North Mt. Vernon Avenue and end in the parking lot of St. Mary (Nativity) Church on North Mt. Vernon.
“There will be four units in the parade,” said Giachetti. “Each unit will be accompanied by a high school marching band.”
Following the parade, there will be a buffet at the American Legion at 406 W. Main St. Parade participants and the general public are invited to attend.
Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3538.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Brownsville Area Redevelopment Corp. chief ousted after 9 weeks
- W.Va. woman in high-speed Fayette chase sentenced to 7 to 14 years
- Masontown man sentenced in crash
- Southmoreland seniors to don caps and gowns June 4
- Jury selection ends in trial for Fayette County boy’s beating death
- Former public defender sues Fayette County officials over firing
- Brutal attack gets Fayette County man up to 11 years in prison
- Dunbar Twp.’s Upper Sandy Hollow Road, Falls Avenue face repairs
- Connellsville residents, business owners explore human rights panel
- Bullskin, Connellsville youngsters ‘paying it forward’
- Connellsville rec board making plans for summer