Independence Day Trivia!

June 30, 2016

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Independence Day, or more commonly known as the Fourth of July is one of the biggest events and celebrations in America’s history. Still, we must not forget why we celebrate this important day and everything the led to it, plus more facts about it. Today, I am presenting you with some trivia about the Fourth of July that may surprise you:

  • The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia.
  • While many get the Fourth off today, it was not officially declared by Congress a paid Federal holiday until 1938. It was originally unpaid since 1870.
  • Nathan’s Hot Dogs holds their Hot Dog Eating Contest annually. This is to see who can eat the most hot dogs in the fastest time. The event is held on New York’s Coney Island and is broadcast on national television on cable.
  • Three presidents died on the 4th of July: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams within hours of each other on 1826, and James Monroe in 1831. The only president to the be born on the 4th of July was Calvin Coolidge in 1872.
  • The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies. The bell has not been rung since 1846.download
  • John Hancock was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence and the only signer ON the Fourth of July. It actually took a month for all 56 signatures to get on the Declaration of Independence and John Adams thought the Second of July would become Independence Day.
  • While we light fireworks on the Fourth some 240 years after we became a country, in the first year afterward, many Americans placed a candle on their windowsills to show their patriotism for their new country. Those still loyal to the British crown left their windowsills bare.
  • While we hold barbecues today that feature burgers and hot dogs, our founding fathers ate foods like turtle soup, poached salmon in egg sauce, peas, boiled potatoes in their skins, and apple pandowdy for dessert!

Hope you enjoyed all the trivia! Happy 4th, America!

-CD

 


What the American Flag Symbolizes

July 1, 2009

united-states-flag_2061_57140590I took a walk today in the cemetery near my home. A portion of the cemetery is dedicated to those who served in the American Armed Forces. What caught my attention was the fluttering of hundreds of flags. Each seemed to stand as a silent thank you for the service of each man and woman.

A flag is more than just a piece of cloth. It is a symbol of so much more. It stands for a country, a government, and a set of ideas. The American flag symbolizes laws laid out in the Constitution, freedoms given in the Bill of Rights, and the risk taken by the Declaration of Independence.

Contrary to popular belief, the colors of the American flag did not have any symbolic meaning when it was first adopted; however the colors of the flag-like portion of the Great Seal do have meaning. Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, stated, “White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valor, and Blue . . . signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.” It was quite fitting these colors should fly over the graves of those had given their all.

betsy-rossThe stars of the flag, however, do have symbolism. The resolution adopted on June 14, 1777, reads, “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.” As the many stars formed one design, the many states formed one country.

united-states-flag_2061_57202944I continued walking past the flags and I noticed a few of them had fallen over. If they had just been an old rag or even one of the flower displays left on some of the graves, I would have ignored them. But they were flags, lying on the ground. They were a symbol of my country, of my freedom to walk in the sunshine and to say what I chose and to worship how I please.

I picked up the flags and set them back in their places. And I smiled in silent thanks.

Katie Hart