1980sABCAdvertisements & commercialsJohn Williams + The Boston Pops OrchestraMusicMusic ConcertsSpecialsTV AdsUS Presidents

Music – 1986 – July 4th Liberty Weekend In New York Harbor – With John Williams + The Boston Pops Orchestra


Liberty Weekend was a four-day celebration of the 1984 restoration and the centenary of the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World) in New York City….as It began on July 3 and ended on July 6, 1986.  

On the morning of July 4, 1986 the battleships and sailing ships of old took part in a naval revue down the Hudson River….including the largest flotilla of tall ships to assemble in modern history….as US President Ronald Reagan viewed the ships from the USS Iowa….when he described the ships as a personification of freedom and liberty….saying,  “Perhaps, indeed, these vessels embody our conception of liberty itself: to have before one no impediments, only open spaces; to chart one’s own course and take the adventure of life as it comes; to be free as the wind – as free as the tall ships themselves. It’s fitting, then, that this procession should take place in honor of Lady Liberty.”      

Later the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by John Williams performed a concert of classic American music at Liberty State Park in New Jersey….which was the closest landmass to Liberty Island itself….with Lady Liberty and the NYC skyline in the backdrop.      It also featured musical performances from John Denver, Melissa Manchester, Clamma Dale + Simon Estes, Joel Grey, Whitney Houston, Johnny Cash, James Whitmore and Barry Manilow.    Also in attendance were notables such as Steven Spielberg, Amy Irving, Robert Dole, NYC Mayor Ed Koch, NY State Governor Mario Cuomo, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kissinger, Itzhak Periman, Cardinal O’Connor, Don King, Pierre Salinger, June Carter Cash, Alan Shepard, Dianne Carrol and Coretta Scott King.

This was followed by an address by Reagan aboard the USS John F. Kennedy…..and a 30-minute fireworks display and concert….scored and conducted by Joe Raposo….which was definitely the highlight of the night. It was the largest fireworks display in American history, and at the time the largest in the world. The display included 22,000 aerial fireworks….launched from 30 barges and other vantage points….in addition to 18,000 set pieces…..which was co-produced by four family-owned fireworks firms….namely the Zambelli, Grucci, Santore and Sousa families…..as the fireworks and President’s speech are on another video in our library.   

Without question, if an American is having a patriotic moment or event….they will consider this video MUST SEE TV….for the musical tribute to American Independence is unsurpassed….and the fireworks display is phenomenal. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button