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93rd annual anvil shoot to be held Veterans Day - 2010

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Well, it does involve anvils and has been a regular annual event in Hamilton County, TX all those years. So I stuck it here.

I found the information below in the archives of the Hamilton Herald-News. They are PDF copies of the newspaper. The 2010 story of the anvil shoot has not been written at the moment in my opinion.

Annual anvil shoot Tuesday - 2008

The American Legion Cunningham Post 222 in Hamilton will host the 91st Annual Anvil Shoot at 5 a.m. on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the American Legion Post.

The post is located on US Hwy 281 North, about a mile north from the Hamilton square, on Highway 36, on the right.

The tradition of the anvil shoot started in 1918 at the end of World War I when a local blacksmith wanted to celebrate and notify the town that the war was over.

The armistice was signed into effect in Versailles, France, on the eleventh month, eleventh day at the eleventh hour. Thus Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. in France is 5 a.m. Texas time, which is the reason the anvil shoot starts at that time.

This event is the oldest anvil shoot in the United States celebrating the end of World War I.

The anvil shoot consists of taking two anvils, placing black powder on one, then placing another anvil upside down on the first anvil, and setting off the black powder. The top anvil is blasted several feet into the air, and as you can imagine, this makes a lot of noise.

Local blacksmiths continued the tradition for some time until the local American Legion post in Hamilton picked up the tradition. Anyone can shoot the anvil; the post has had children as young as 5 years old set it off, and their experts make sure it is safe.

This year they also plan to fire a small cannon.

The anvil shoot has traditionally been the post’s largest fundraiser. Breakfast consisting of gravy, sausage and biscuits will be served free, although donations will be appreciated.

92nd annual anvil shoot to be held Veterans Day - 2009

The 92nd annual Anvil Shoot sponsored by the Hamilton County American Legion Cunningham Post 222 will be held on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11 starting at 5 a.m. The shoot will be held at the post just north of Hamilton on Highway 281 and the public is invited.

Breakfast will be served following the anvil shoot and a drawing for a Remington 12 gauge Model 870 shotgun will also be held.

Anvil shoots were held in communities around the country to celebrate the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. Beginning in 1919, Nov. 11 was declared a national holiday and known as Armistice Day. Following World War II, the name was changed to Veterans Day and was a day to honor veterans of all U.S. wars.

For many years following the end of World War I, anvil shoots continued to be common around the country on Armistice Day and later, Veterans Day. However, it is believed that the Hamilton American Legion Posts’ anvil shoot is the only one still being held.

In 1968, at the 50th anniversary of the local anvil shoot, the late Frank Holmes told the Herald-News that he and his father, and various other townspeople, began firing anvils at 10 a.m. on the day the Armistice went into effect and continued shooting until midnight that night. When they exhausted the supply of gunpowder, they broke open shotgun shells to get a new supply.

Returning veterans were on hand on Armistice Day 1919. They had formed Cunningham Post 222 of the American Legion, and they sponsored the Anvil Shoot that morning and have continued sponsoring it each year since.

Cunningham Post was named after Hamilton’s first casualty of World War I, Bernard Cunningham.

I sent a e-mail to the Hamilton Herald News asking about the event and recieved the answer below:

Still doing it. Starts a little before 5 a.m. at American Legion Post 222 on Highway 281 North of Hamilton.


Kenneth Miller

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