Politically incorrect and populist to its core, the beloved Ancients and Horribles parade will continue a tradition of irreverence without eloquence this Independence Day in Glocester. The parade starts at 4 pm on Monday but is in fact going to be the final element of a four day series of festivities for the whole family.
The parade dates back to 1926 and was created as a spoof of a nearby Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in Boston that had as a member the consistently mute President Calvin Coolidge. Whether this mockery intended to include Coolidge’s views on ethnicity is unclear. He was amazingly progressive in some regards and supported laws against lynching, fought the influence of the Ku Klux Klan in national politics, appointed African Americans to prominent federal offices, and signed the important Indian Citizenship Act. Though the Swamp Yankee irreverence has been known to be reactionary in some instances, last year included a float featuring Bernie Sanders, showing that progressives can have an impact and perhaps change hearts and minds when they like.