Why I Celebrate the 4th of July

   

  As a citizen of the United States of America, I feel blessed to live in a country where 56 men believed in freedom, the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, the right to stand up to our government if the need arises as well as our other unalienable rights.  I feel gratitude and very humbled because of the heart, soul and tenacity these men showed.  It’s been said that these men literally shed tears, physically fought amongst themselves and sweat from the heat.  Every time I hear the term “blood, sweat and tears” I do think of our founding fathers.

A Few Facts

  • John Adams had written to his wife Abigail that he believed the 2nd of July would be the day America would never forget because it was the actual day of legal separation of the Great Britain colonies.  He missed the mark by 2 days.
  • The document was revised and debated by Congress and finally approved on July 4, 1776.
  • The actual signing of the Declaration of Independence was signed by most delegates on August 2, 1776 by 50 men.
  • Fifty six men eventually signed the Declaration.
  • John Hancock was the 1st to sign the Declaration.
  • The last signature was by Thomas McKean possibly signing as late as 1778; it was not on the authenticated January 1777 original document.
  • There was a hush-hush of the names of the signers on the Declaration of Independence for more than 6 months.  Since this was a treasonable act, the signers would have been put to death if independence had not been achieved.  There was a bounty on the heads of these men.
  •  The signers signed in geographic order beginning with the north and ending in the south.
  •  The 1st celebration of Independence was in Philadelphia on  July 8, 1776.
  • The Liberty Bell rang to gather citizens for the 1st public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1777.  The reading was performed by Colonel John Nixon.
  • In 1778, General George Washington ordered a double ration of rum for his men and an artillery salute.
  • July 5th was celebrated in 1779 because the 4th was on a Sunday.
  • The 1st recorded use of “Independence Day” was in 1791.
  • 1804 was the year of the 1st public celebration of Independence Day at the White House.
  • U.S. Congress made the 4th of July an unpaid holiday in 1870.
  • Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, signers of the Declaration, died on the same day, July 4, 1826 – the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration.
  • In 1916 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest began at Coney Island, NY.  Supposedly it started as a way to settle a dispute among four immigrants as to who was the most patriotic.
  • U.S. Congress made the 4th of July a paid holiday in 1938.

 

 

Thank you to the 56 signers of the Constitution!

Thank you for literally risking your lives!

Thank you for the blood, sweat and tears you shed for me.

 

 

Note: 

Graphics provided by WebWeaver’s Free Clipart and Vintage Holiday Crafts

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. kyle
    Jul 04, 2010 @ 09:16:49

    Very nice, thanks for the info.
    I enjoy reading your column

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