From the July 7, 1931 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

Martha’s Vineyard turned out to celebrate the Glorious Fourth one hundred per cent strong, the celebration beginning on Friday evening, and lasting until sometime Sunday morning when the last few fire-crackers were discharged by the younger generations who doubtless feared that they would not keep until another July.

The program consisted of public and private displays of fireworks in the down-Island towns, band concerts by day and by night, and all the gay and festive, not to say noisy, demonstrations of patriotism common to young and old America.

Through it all there was the usual amount of cap and cracker shooting by children of all sizes, the passage through towns of auto loads of noisy merry makers and the common productions of atmosphere-cracking sounds that make the “night before” a poor time for sleep.


With the influx of smartly-clad vacationists over the Fourth, it is hard to choose the outstanding sports clothes of the season. Merely being a spectator of sports these days demands a costume of individuality, while the more strenuous exertions of yachting, golf and tennis tax the ingenuity to supply practical and enchanting attire.

Among the enthusiastic audiences watching races and tournaments over the Fourth, maize, corn flower blue and brown and white were predominant. In a handsome Kris Kraft speeding in Edgartown harbor, a particularly attractive frock of tri-color was made in appropriate sailor style. A square Saxe blue collar trimmed a slim-fitting white crepe, while a red and blue gypsy sash made a patriotic dash of color. A trig woven white cap was folded back over the right eyebrow and banded across the forehead with Saxe blue grosgrain.

A young blonde, cheering her husband on the links in the recent tournament, was gowned in white and brown. A white paper panama was banded with chocolate brown while the white silk dress had diagonals of rich brown, forming a graceful cowl neckline. White linen shoes with brown coin dots and brown built-up heels completed the cool and attractive costume.

In spite of her arduous labors in a sand trap, a bronzed young woman looked unperturbed and chic in a maize and brown ensemble. The yellow of the cap-sleeved dress was set off by diagonal bandings of brown at the V neck and pointed sleeves. A Liberty bandana with yellow background was worn high across the forehead and the accent of brown was again brought out in short socks and in the trim of her white golf shoes.

On the courts, pastels and (it really can’t be avoided this summer) maize, were much in evidence. One notable dress was of striped apple green and brown silk shirting and was made in severely tailored lines. Across the court a swift-playing young thing sported one of the new and oh so practical divided skirt dresses. Although when sponsored by Senorita Alvarez this style created quite a furor abroad, these dresses are frequently seen on the windy Martha’s Vineyard courts. This one, of azure blue silk broadcloth, unbuttoned at the neck to form a sunback dress. The majority of the tennis frocks, however, do not have the low backs of last year, and consequently look infinitely more suitable and less like attenuated evening wear.

Feminine yachting attire is also becoming more adaptable to rugged use. The hipless portion of the female population really look stunning in navy sailor’s jeans, or in vivid-colored overalls. With these are worn the bright, striped Basque jerseys, or warm high-necked reefers. Wooly rolled hats and linen espadrilles make these costumes wearable yet becoming.

Although they are not so blatant in their talk of fashion, men, too, have new styles to display this season. On the links linen, duck and flannel slacks are being worn instead of the old hot, baggy knickers. Pastel foulard and rajah ties are worn with socks and sweaters of the same colors. Even the masculine world has discovered how well maize and lemon contrast with a sun tanned complexion. Shetland sweaters in these shades and also in the popular cornflower blue are enlivening tee and green with their gay colors. Many of the, ahem, slightly older men are playing golf in hatless condition. They appear to believe that hot sun will stop the hair line from entirely receding from their rosy hued pates.

For gala sporting occasions, such as booing or applauding prizefighters, men have taken to flannels of wonderful diversity. A narrow gray striped white flannel shares popularity with a gray flannel with pencil stripe of palest blue. Panamas, as ever, are in vogue, but worn with a new tilt of insouciance and decorated by lighter and more vivid bandings.

On board ship, on green, on courts, there is a noticeable and highly successful effort to put more color into this drab life. Contrast and color harmony have worked together to furnish costumes appropriately decorative for the gay sports of Martha’s Vineyard during the summer of 1931.

Compiled by Hilary Wall