Independence Day—the 4thof July, has always been the most popular holiday for Americans. The 1876 centennial, 1926 sesquicentennial, and 1976 bicentennial of the American Revolution, and the 1927 sesquicentennial of the British surrender at Saratoga, inspired citizens to commemorate the original events: Revolutionary War sites and ruins were stabilized and preserved, monuments erected, and historical records revisited.
In the post-Civil War period, harkening back to early American history and the American Revolution was a unifying experience. New York State established its system of Town and County Historians after the centennial. Later, citizens turned out by the thousands for commemorative pageants of the 1920s. In 1976, almost every town had a bicentennial committee, producing volumes of histories and historical sketches, bicentennial quilts, and Fourth of July parades.
The Saratoga Monument commemorates the critical victory of American forces under the command of General Horatio Gates over the British army commanded by General John Burgoyne in September and October 1777.
Local citizens formed the Saratoga Monument Association in 1859, but the Civil War suspended their efforts. Following the end of the Civil War, the plan to commemorate the Battle of Saratoga was revived. The corner stone was laid October 17, 1877. The official dedication of the monument took place October 17, 1912. The rock-faced granite obelisk was designed in an eclectic style evoking Gothic and Egyptian revivalism. Its interior is clad in Kingsbury bluestone, delivered to the site by canal boat. The Saratoga Monument was transferred by the State of New York to the National Park Service in 1980, for inclusion in Saratoga National Historical Park.
Carved granite slabs and boulders with bronze plaques were commissioned in 1926, the sesquicentennial of the American Revolution, to mark the route of the Knox Cannon Trail. Fifty-six markers in New York and Massachusetts mark the route of the 56-day journey from Fort Ticonderoga to Dorchester Heights, outside of Boston. Additional markers were added later. Markers can be found along Rt. 4 in Hudson Falls, Fort Edward, Fort Miller, Northumberland, Schuylerville, Stillwater, Mechanicville, and Waterford.