Annapolis was bursting with centennial celebrations as it hosted a 100-year birthday party for the nation, The Sun reported on July 5, 1876.
The pomp and circumstance began at midnight on the Fourth of July with "the booming of cannon and the spat of small arms," which lasted until sunrise, and ended with a gun salute at the Naval Academy and chimes from church bells throughout the city. At 10 p.m. a procession of former soldiers firing horse pistols marched to the State House, where they gathered for a meeting that included speeches, prayers and a recitation of John Greenleaf Whittier's centennial hymn.
Buildings throughout town were decorated for the festivities, including the Charles Carroll House, St. Mary's Catholic College and the assembly room of the State House where George Washington resigned his commission in 1783.
Locals have always had good reason to celebrate the anniversary, since three of Maryland's four signers of the Declaration of Independence were from the county and had served in government positions in Annapolis - Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase and William Paca. The fourth signer, Thomas Stone, was from Charles County.
To mark the 231st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, re-enactor Myron Peterson will read the document at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Paca House. After each reading, the First Maryland Regiment will fire a musket volley.