This July 4th on America’s 242nd birthday and Antioch’s 167th anniversary of its naming, we have much to celebrate

By Allen Payton, Publisher

This year’s Independence Day on Wednesday, July 4th marks the 242nd birthday of our nation. It was on this date in 1776 that our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence sending a message to England that we would no longer be ruled by their king, and that we would be a sovereign nation and each of our citizens sovereign people, as well.

In Antioch, we also celebrate the 167th anniversary of the naming of our city, today. It was on this date in 1851, 75 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, that the townspeople gathered together with co-founder Rev. William Wiggins Smith to rename the town from Smith’s Landing to Antioch, after the city in Syria where the followers of Christ were first called Christians. They did that out of respect to Smith’s twin brother, Rev. Joseph Horton Smith who had died the previous year. In 1849, after traveling from Boston, the Smith brothers each purchased 160 acres from Dr. John Marsh along the Antioch waterfront, where the city’s historic, downtown Rivertown District is located, today.

As we celebrate, we have so much to appreciate this year, both about our country and our community. Nationally, things have been turning around with a growing economy, and the lowest unemployment rate since 2000 down to 3.8% in May. That’s directly due to the repatriation of billions of dollars that have been held offshore by U.S. corporations, which along with most Americans are benefitting by the $1.5 trillion federal tax cut approved, late last year.

Locally, things are improving, as well with violent crime decreasing by 20% this year over last, the opening of the Antioch BART Station, the completion of the Highway 4 (Bypass) to Balfour Road in Brentwood and home values continuing to increase. In addition, the former Humphrey’s restaurant at Antioch’s marina is soon to reopen as Smith’s Landing Seafood Grill, which will help breathe more life into downtown Rivertown where other businesses are also opening.

The future looks bright, both nationally and locally, and we can celebrate our freedoms, enumerated in the Bill of Rights, and which now have more protections thanks to recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Enjoy celebrating and remember to thank God for the freedoms we get to exercise and experience each day in our country.

Also, just a reminder of the pancake breakfast from 8:30-10:30 a.m. in the City Hall parking lot, followed by the parade down W. 2nd Street at 11:00 a.m. both in Rivertown. Then enjoy the live music, food and fun during the July 4th Celebration organized by Celebrate Antioch Foundation at the Contra Costa Event Park (fairgrounds) beginning at 4:00 p.m. and ending with the fireworks show about 9:30 p.m.

Happy Independence Day and may God continue to bless the United States of America. Freedom!

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2 Comments to “This July 4th on America’s 242nd birthday and Antioch’s 167th anniversary of its naming, we have much to celebrate”

  1. walter ruehlig says:

    Never been a fan of Pollyanna but refreshig to see soe egood news and patriotism amidst all the professional negastivists and the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Wow! Highway 4 widening, e-Bart and only thing missing for a perfect trifecta is a ferry.

    Have you been by 18th and Cavallo and seen that magnificent net-zero energy school that Rocketshiop is opening in August?…. Watch that neighborhood revitalize.

    Nice seeing how the 4th of July number of floats has gone counting in the 40’s to the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s……. Gave Captain America costume a break this year but it was fun marching with my wife and the Fil-American Cultural Society in my pineapple-fiber shirt. Mahbuhay! and celebrate America and Antioch.

    • Publisher says:

      It’s the Payton Perspective, not the Pollyanna Perspective, Walter. LOL 🙂
      Thanks for reading and commenting and yes, the new Rocketship school, plus the two other charter middle and high schools that will soon open in Antioch. Also positive things happening in our community.
      Allen Payton, Publisher

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