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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July!

To me, this day is as important as the days we pause to remember and thank our Veterans and active military. In 1776, this day was a culmination of a young Nation that was fighting for it's freedom and whose people were so determined to build and create a Nation where it's people would be free.  The fought tyranny. They fought taxation without representation. They fought to be truly free. We thank the Veterans, Soldiers and Sailors because they fight to this day to support the ideas that were set forth so long ago. 

The men who penned and signed this document were brave. There were still many who were unsure of what they were fighting for. When I look at the Flag, I offer up silent thanks for all they did. Today, many people wake up on July 4th and begin getting their barbecue grill ready and planning a day of fun. Nothing wrong with that, but as you celebrate this year, take a moment to think about those men and all the people that  have risked and even given, their very lives for the rights and freedoms that exist to this day. I hope we never forget what we have been granted.

Here are some fun facts and trivia:

*The major objection to being ruled by Britain was taxation without representation. The colonists had no say in the decisions of English Parliament.
* In May, 1776, after nearly a year of trying to resolve their differences with England, the colonies sent delegates to the Second Continental Congress. Finally, in June, admitting that their efforts were hopeless; a committee was formed to compose the formal Declaration of Independence. Headed by Thomas Jefferson, the committee also included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. On June 28, 1776, Thomas Jefferson presented the first draft of the declaration to Congress.

* Betsy Ross, according to legend, sewed the first American flag in May or June 1776, as commissioned by the Congressional Committee.

* Independence Day was first celebrated in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776.

* The Liberty Bell sounded from the tower of Independence Hall on July 8, 1776, summoning citizens to gather for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon.

*June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress, looking to promote national pride and unity, adopted the national flag. “Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

* The word patriotism comes from the Latin patria, which means homeland or fatherland.

*The first public Fourth of July event at the White House occurred in 1804.

* Before cars ruled the roadway, the Fourth of July was traditionally the most miserable day of the year for horses, tormented by all the noise and by the boys and girls who threw firecrackers at them.

* The first Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi occurred at Independence Creek and was celebrated by Lewis and Clark in 1805.

* On June 24, 1826, Thomas Jefferson sent a letter to Roger C. Weightman, declining an invitation to come to Washington, D.C. to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. It was the last letter that Jefferson, who was gravely ill, ever wrote.

* Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on Independence Day, July 4, 1826.

* The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence did not sign at the same time, nor did they sign on July 4, 1776. The official event occurred on August 2, 1776, when 50 men signed it.

* The names of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were withheld from the public for more than six months to protect the signers. If independence had not been achieved, the treasonable act of the signers would have, by law, resulted in their deaths.

* Thomas McKean was the last to sign in January, 1777.

* The origin of Uncle Sam probably began in 1812, when Samuel Wilson was a meat packer who provided meat to the US Army. The meat shipments were stamped with the initials U.S. Someone joked that the initials stood for “Uncle Sam”. This joke eventually led to the idea of Uncle Sam symbolizing the United States government.

* In 1941, Congress declared 4th of July a federal legal holiday. It is one of the few federal holidays that have not been moved to the nearest Friday or Monday.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July celebration!
Please stay safe too!  :)


For your eating pleasure, here's some links to 4th of July recipes:

Taste of Home

All Recipes

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