Make your home page

Fourth of July social decks out Benjamin Harrison site in red, white, and blue

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s a Fourth of July celebration, but without a fireworks show. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential site opened its doors and grounds for its annual Independence Day Social Tuesday.

Many people know that President Harrison is the only president from Indiana, but he was also an advocate for getting the Pledge of Allegiance recited in schools and getting the American flag flown outside of schools.

While the event is about learning some history, it’s also very much about having fun.

You can expect to see a lot of red, white, and blue every Fourth of July, and visitors at the annual Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site Independence Day Social are all decked out in it.

“We always want to open our doors to our neighbors. Whether they’re literally next-door or from across the state of Indiana or the country,” said Presidential Site President Charles Hyde.

Makeda Williams and her sons are visiting the site, taking a break from family cookouts to enjoy the sites, games, and history tied to this land.

“I love the Fourth of July, it’s one of my favorite holidays, being able to spend time with family and friends,” she said. “So far I think (this is) neat. It’s different.”

There’s a lot to like when you factor in the games, food, music, and the Harrison home tours. Built in 1871, the layout of the home is much like it was back then, transporting visitors back to a different time.

“I just wanted to see the Harrison home one more time because it’s so beautiful,” said visitor Darlene Jones.

Hyde says this annual event is a celebration, but there are symbols of independence tied to Harrison’s legacy and this site.

“Harrison had this greater legacy that he was bestowed upon this country. From civil rights to how we perceive ourselves as Americans.”

President Harrison was a Civil War veteran who sought to end slavery and advocated for the American flag to be flown outside schools and public buildings.

“In the sense that he wanted to unify everyone around this idea of a national identity, rather than for everyone to think about their state-based identities,” Hyde said.