Saturday, July 4, 2015

“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” William Faulkner

A Brief History of the 4th of July
An Animated Documentary

Did you know? . . .
  • The Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776, but it wasn't approved until the 4th.
  • Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. Most people signed on August 2, 1776.
  • 56 people signed the Declaration--Benjamin Franklin, 70, was the oldest signer, and Edward Rutledge from South Carolina was the youngest at 26.John Hancock was the first to sign.  His signature is the largest.
  • On July 4, 1778, George Washington celebrated the anniversary by issuing double rations of rum to his soldiers. 
  • Our 30th president, Vermonter Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4, 1872.
  • Three of the first five presidents actually died on the Fourth of July: the second president, John Adams, and the third president, Thomas Jefferson, died within hours of each other in 1826--the 50 years to the day after Independence Day. James Monroe, our fifth president, died on July 4, 1831. 
  • In 1777 Philadelphia hosted the first 4th of July celebration with a parade, bell-ringing, bonfires, and, yes, fireworks--and a cannon salute!
  • Congress officially declared Independence Day a federal holiday (like Christmas and New Year's Day) in 1870. In 1938, they made it a paid holiday.
  • John Adams, our second president, didn't eat hot dogs to celebrate Independence Day.  Instead he and his wife Abigail had celebratory turtle soup, poached salmon with egg sauce, green peas, and boiled new potatoes with Apple Pandowdy for dessert. 
  • Benjamin Franklin was disappointed that the bald eagle was chosen as our national bird.  He thought it had bad moral character.  He believed the turkey was a better choice. Though a bit vain and silly, he thought it was a bird of courage, willing to defend its home territory from anyone.
  • The Fourth of July is the biggest hot dog-eating holiday of the year. Out of the 20 billion hot dogs eaten by Americans each year, 122 million are consumed on July 4th according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.  Imagine this: that's enough hot dogs to stretch from Washington DC to Los Angeles, California more than 5 times!  Good grief!

Bet you didn't know. . .
from the History Channel

Liberty's Kids: The First Fourth of July

Fun Things To Do On the Fourth of July 
Cool ideas found HERE

  1. Invite your friends and decorate your bike, trike, wagon, and strollers and have a parade. 
  2. Blow bubbles. At night, break a glow stick and add the contents to the bubbles and blow glow-in-the-dark bubbles. 
  3. Make patriotic pinwheels. 
  4. Have some relay races- 3-legged race, sack race, wheelbarrow race. 
  5. Have a water balloon toss. 
  6. How about a squirt gun fight? 
  7. Play a game of kickball. 
  8. Make homemade ice cream. 
  9. Have a barbecue . 
  10. Play in the sprinkler. Don't have one? Make one. 
  11. Who doesn't like a good Slip and Slide? 
  12. Go swimming at a local pool, or lake. Many lakes have picnic areas and beaches for swimming. 
  13. Go on a picnic. 
  14. Invite neighbors over for a "BYOB" cookout. Have them "Bring Your Own Burgers" or hotdogs. It could be "bring your own basket" and let them bring food for their family, you just offer to grill it. 
  15. Fly kites 
  16. Dress up in Red, White and Blue. 
  17. This one is for the girls. Paint your nails all Red, White and Blue. 
  18. Play an old fashion game of Horseshoes. 
  19. Play Corn Hole 
  20. Hang your flag proudly. 
  21. Decorate your front door and porch.
  22. Catch lightning bugs. What we southerners call fireflies. 
  23. Set a festive table.
  24. Watch Fireworks!

Look HERE for more great ideas!

Interesting information found on these websites:  TIME, HISTORY.COM