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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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1981 Program Cover
Statler Brothers as they appeared on the 1981 "Happy Birthday U.S.A." Program

Happy Birthday, USA (Staunton)

Designed as a way for the City to honor the Statler Brothers (Staunton's native sons) and for the Brothers to thank the community for its support, this free annual Fourth of July show was held for 25 years (1970-1994). For two to three days each year, this "birthday party" featured a parade, concessions, rides, games, fireworks, and, as its centerpiece, a free concert by the Statler Brothers and their special guests -- country music notables such as Tammy Wynette, Johnny and June Cash, Ronnie Milsap, Mel Tillis, Barbara Mandrell and Reba McIntire have appeared at the event.

Over the years, the Statler Brothers had attracted more than 1.2 million visitors to the Staunton. The annual event helped to make the tourist industry a viable economic alternative for Staunton, encouraged the development and restoration of Staunton's downtown, and brought a new dedication to preservation. It gave Staunton a sense of identity. Project materials consist of written reports on "Happy Birthday U.S.A." and the Statler Brothers, photographs, news clippings, programs, and an audio tape.

Originally submitted by: Bob Goodlatte, Representative (6th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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