I love the 4th of July because of what it represents and also because I never met a barbecue I didn’t like. Nothing like liberty and ribs to get your engines revving, right?
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world…”
Following are some fun, interesting and possibly silly facts about the day of our independence:
The Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776 but a revised version was not adopted until July 4th. In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams, who first proposed the idea of declaring independence from England, said he believed July 2nd would be a day remembered and celebrated in America for years to come.
The Declaration was written by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 men representing 13 colonies. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration on a “laptop,” which was a writing desk that could fit on one’s lap.
The first ever July 4th celebration was in 1777, in Philadelphia which included a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks. The first 4th of July party held at the White House, was in 1801 and held by President Thomas Jefferson. The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.
The 13 stars on the American flag were arranged in a circle to represent equality among the original thirteen colonies. In all, there have been 28 versions of the U.S flag to date. The most recent was designed in 1958 when Alaska and Hawaii joined the union. Robert Heft 17 year-old high school student came up with the flag design as a result of a school project. He received a B- on the project, but when his pattern won the national competition to become the next U.S. flag, his grade was raised to an A.
Fireworks and parades to celebrate the Fourth has been around much longer than you may think – in that letter John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail he also said that the day “Ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” In fact, colonists celebrated their independence before they knew they’d win the war. In addition to celebrating the Declaration it was believed that fireworks displays were used as morale boosters for soldiers in the Revolutionary War.
The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence. Approximately 900 copies of the Declaration were printed by printer John Dunlap. These are referred to as “The Dunlap Broadsides” of which only 26 copies exist today.
The song “Yankee Doodle” was originally sung by British military officers prior to the Revolution as a means to mock the disorganized American colonists who fought alongside them during the French and Indian Wars.
Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, died on July 4th; Adams and Jefferson died within hours of each other in 1826 while Monroe died in 1831.
The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 and not decreed the official national anthem until 1931.
Two of our nation’s national symbols were made overseas. The Liberty Bell was cast in England, and the Statue of Liberty in France. To avoid cracking it, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846 – though every 4th of July it is symbolically tapped 13 times.
While Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be the national bird, he was out-voted by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who chose the bald eagle as the national bird.•
Americans eat approximately 155 million hot dogs on Independence Day while watching approximately 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies in the United States each 4th of July.
4th Of July Humor
What did one flag say to the other flag?
Nothing, it just waved!
What’s the difference between a duck and George Washington?
One has a bill on his face, and the other has his face on a bill.
What would you get if you crossed a patriot with a small curly-haired dog?
What was George Washington’s favorite tree?
For simple 4th of July amusement you can check out this puzzle and this puzzle.
And to test your knowledge of American independence take a quiz here.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July everybody – and say a prayer for our troops and their families.