July 4th of this year is important for many reasons. This is the first time that we mark the occasion since the departure of Donald Trump, which is both a cause for celebration and a brake on the reckless patriotism that sometimes characterizes the party. This year’s barbecues and fireworks will be the first large-scale gatherings many people have attended since the pandemic, which is expected to create a potent mix of joy and agoraphobia nationwide. But above all, this July 4th marks the centenary of July 4the Ball held at the Overlook Hotel in 1921. If you weren’t lucky enough to mark an invitation at the time, you can spot this legendary black tie affair in the last shots of The brilliant, who reveal that Jack Torrance, the hapless Winter Guardian played by Jack Nicholson, has always been to the Overlook:

Sounds like a great party, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the Overlook Hotel and its July 4the Ball are both fictional, which presents a challenge for those of us who hope to celebrate the birth of our nation by being trapped for eternity in an evil hell surrounded by a century of hungry ghosts, a bar well stocked and musical styles from Al Bowlly, Ray Noble and his orchestra. Don’t worry, though: we’ve looked into it, and there were plenty of other extremely cursed July 4th parties in 1921! So whether you’ve recently invented time travel or are just trying to decide which hotel concierge job is most likely to doom you to endless alcoholic hell of your own making, Slate’s guide to The hottest evenings of July 4, 1921 contains all the information. you have to find a party that you will want to attend forever.

First and foremost, do do not celebrate July 4th at the Stanley Hotel. Yes, it was the hotel that inspired The brilliant, but on July 4, 1921, it was also the hotel that inspired the West Division of the $ 125,000 Field Club of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York to travel to the 250-delegate Colorado for their convention. annual. Dating 250 life insurance salespeople from the early 1920s would definitely be a horrible July 4th, but it probably wouldn’t be like The brilliant. In fact, Colorado was a terrible place to celebrate July 4th that year – it rained heavily over much of the state. Celebrations and fireworks in Greeley and Fort Collins were postponed, as Aspen struggled through their party despite “terrible weather” and the absence of a visiting baseball team due to flooded roads. Even though the weather had been perfect, most of the festivities highlighted Colorado’s western heritage. Fort Collins, for example, was supposed to have goat lassoing competitions, bulldogging, an American cavalry shooting show, and a re-enactment of the Deadwood stagecoach heist, presented by the original pilot “Spittin ‘. “Bill Davis. That’s fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t quite have the Red Death Mask feeling you want in a cursed July 4th party. Overlook hotels in other states are also failing: The Ahwahnee Hotel in California, which inspired the interiors of the film version of the hotel, only opened in 1927, and the construction of the Timberline Lodge, used for exterior shots, would not have started until 1936.

If you want to witness the kind of soul-destroying gathering of the decadent and depraved rich the Overlook thrived on, you have to go to where the decadent and depraved rich are, and in the summer of 1921 where they were ” not Colorado.Most years the easiest way to quickly locate a group of crazy power ghouls on the Fourth is to find the President of the United States and work outside, but 1921 was different: the President Harding skipped traditional festivities to Raritan, New Jersey, where he stayed at the home of Senator Joseph S. Frelinghuysen, Sr. and played several rounds of golf. The closest thing he gave in an address on July 4 was a remark from a sentence uttered at the baptism of a boat that Joseph S. Frelinghuysen, Jr., had built:

In homage to American childhood, who builds castles in the air, who builds boats and whose future achievements will build this country, I baptize this boat, work of Joseph Frelinghuysen, the Raritan.

It’s pretty boring, but banality isn’t enough to make a really damn 4th of July party. It is not clear whether the Raritan never became a ghost ship, which could increase the chances that people would be doomed to attend her baptism over and over again until the end of time, but her commission was sailing around a water hazard in the Raritan Valley Country Club for picking up stray golf balls so there wasn’t much potential for a naval tragedy. Without the president in town to piss people off, Washington DC had a quiet fourth, with the Washington Post reporting “no explosions, no cannonade, no long list of casualties, no hoarse din, no hilarious hilarity, no noise of any kind disturbed the peace and quiet of the Sabbath which settled in all its sincerity in the city. The Post apparently thought this was a positive development, but those hoping to be trapped forever in a desperate party of the lost and the damned should look elsewhere.

New York City had more options than DC, but almost nothing ticked all of the boxes on the “Endless Demonic Party” checklist. You could join the small crowd that saw a young man drown in the Central Park Reservoir without making any attempt to save him, which is damn, but not really a 4th of July party. Alternatively, you can join the parade organized by the anti-ban protesters, which undoubtedly resulted in a phenomenal July 4th party, but doesn’t seem to have been so damned. To strike exactly, one had to leave town for East Hampton, where the American Legion hosted an outdoor dance attended by 600 people, most of whom were no doubt unspeakably wicked. In Atlanta, Georgia, the best bet for revelers to have their souls devoured by the anxious dead was the Capital City Club, which hosted a rooftop dinner dance that gave off some serious vibes from the Overlook Hotel, if you like. Judge by measuring the vibes of the Overlook hotel you get hanging out at any Atlanta country club today (a lot) and extrapolating backwards (even more).

But the July 4, 1921 party that has the most potential to become a nexus for evil spanning all time and space took place in Los Angeles, California, where Governor William Stephens and Mayor George Cryer presided. a masked ball at the Palm Court of the Hotel d’Alexandrie. Cryer is mainly remembered today for his close connection to the local smuggler and racketeer Charles H. Crawford, whose organization became known as the “Town Hall Gang” because it controlled the city ​​government. The party at Alexandria was one of Cryer’s first official appearances as mayor; he had only been sworn in on July 1 and his point of contact with Crawford’s organization was his campaign manager, Kent Kane Parrot. This means that Cryer’s 4th of July party was also a sort of victory party, and probably as crowded as the Overlook in the days of Horace M. Derwent, guaranteeing a deep shoal of angry ghosts in costume. evening. Better yet, the Palm Court has Tiffany glass skylights, with an intricate pattern that could easily turn into a nest of writhing snakes whenever people aren’t looking directly at it. Ghosts love that kind of shit! Best of all, however, the party in Alexandria that night wasn’t just a 4th of July dance, it was a masked ball, the kind of affair where you can dress up in a bear costume. and suck off a man in a tuxedo or run around yelling “Unmask!” Unmask! ”Without causing a scene. For these reasons, the July 4, 1921 Masked Ball at the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif., Is Slate’s best choice for a July 4th celebration where you risk having your soul devoured by the hungry ghosts of a hotel that has lived too much and seen too much. If you can’t make it to Los Angeles in 1921 this year, try to find an equally fun way to celebrate the holidays when and where you find yourself. You know what they say about all work and no play.

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