When we think of Yankee Homecoming we all have our favorite traditions in mind whether it is Old Fashion Sunday, Family Day, Evening Concerts, Fireworks or any of our other wonderful events. As we celebrate our 58th Homecoming I want to reflect on our past history and traditions as well as the remember and honor the US Coast Guard who has not only helped make our city what it is today but also had a large impact on Yankee Homecoming.
In 1957 Jack Frost had the idea to bring families back to all six New England states in hopes that they would see the beauty and history of our area. He wanted to restore pride and interest in all New England cities and towns which had been forgotten. Yankee Homecoming was created as a way to not only show what we had to offer but to revitalize our local economy. George Cashman agreed to be Newburyport’s first Yankee Homecoming General Chairperson. He realized the impact Homecoming could have in our downtown area which had been suffering from its own slow economy, as well as the importance of the US Coast Guard. Each year our festival is held beginning on the last Sunday of July and held for 8 consecutive days to celebrate the birthday of The US Coast Guard and the City of Newburyport and all it has to offer.
On August 4, 2015 the US Coast Guard will celebrate their 225th birthday. This year is special as this is the 100th anniversary of the Coast Guard name, previously known as the Revenue Cutter Service. The US Coast Guard officially began August 4, 1790 when the Tariff Act authorized the building of 10 cutter ships used to enforce the tariff laws. The first of these ships to be commissioned and operated was the Massachusetts which was built in 1791 by the Currier Shipyard in Newburyport. This was the beginning of our history with the Coast Guard which continued with the building of the Custom House in 1835, being named birthplace of the Coast Guard in 1965 by President Johnson, and being name an official coast guard city in 2012.
When we look around today it is easy to take what we have for granted. This year I want us all to take the time to remember our past by embracing the history and traditions of both Yankee Homecoming and the US Coast Guard. Over the next couple of months we will share some of our history and traditions with you. I hope you enjoy reading about this and take the time to reflect as we celebrate our festivities.
Yankee Homecoming has always been my favorite week of the year and so I am truly honored to be this year’s General Chairperson. Please join us to commemorate this historic time in our lives.
2015 General Chair