Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fireworks From Our Deck

Tonight's fireworks display was again seen from our deck but these were to the west of us at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. Not too shabby for a point 'n shoot, huh? Enjoy!

Happy Birthday, America!

Celebrating ~ The United States of America

Heather Sanders is a regular contributor to the Pioneer Woman blog. This morning she posted the following twenty things about this remarkable date. This photo was copied from the internet because I could not take photos of the original Star Spangled Banner flag when the kids and we saw it a couple of weeks ago.

This is the current display of the Star Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History. The kids were shocked and appalled, rightfully so, that pieces had been cut from the stripes by souvenir seekers many years ago. Thankfully, it is preserved today.

I'm re-posting Heather's post here hoping that our grands will read it since they just saw Faneuil Hall with the statue of John Adams in front, North Church, and a re-creation of the Tea Party in Boston; the Statue of Liberty in New York; Independence Hall (my one regret was not getting in to see the Liberty Bell) in Philadelphia; the Mount Vernon home of George Washington in Virginia; and in Washington, D.C. the original Declaration of Independence at the National Archives and the Star Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian. I would like to think that this day will always be more meaningful to them having experienced all of this and more of the history of our great country.

The Fourth of July marks our country’s birthday. On this day in 1776, the members of theSecond Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, adopting the final draft of the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming our sovereignty from Great Britain. There are a myriad of ways Americans commonly choose to celebrate this holiday – from family-friendly festivals, fireworks and parades to feasting on traditional foods like hot dogs and barbecue.
Here are 20 interesting things you may or may not already know about the 4th of July.

1. Initially adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776, the revised version of the Declaration of Independence was not adopted until two days later.
2. The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.
3. The Declaration of Independence was penned by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 men representing 13 colonies.
4. One of the United States’ patriotic songs, “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.
5. France, Greece, Poland, Russia and several countries in South America used the Declaration of Independence as a beacon in their own struggles for freedom.
6. The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 and not decreed the official national anthem of the United States until 1931.
7. Three U.S. 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.
8. In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million. According to the U.S. and World Population Clock, the nation’s estimated population in July 2013 will be 316.2 million.
9. The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence.
10. Both the Philippines and Rwanda celebrate July 4th as a day of liberation. In Southeast Asia, it is known as “Republic Day” and Rwandans celebrate “Liberation Day.”
11. The country’s 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on Independence Day in 1872.
12. Americans consume about 155 million hot dogs on Independence Day alone; it is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year.
13. In 1870 Congress made Independence Day an official unpaid holiday; in 1938, it was changed to a paid federal holiday.
14. Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, when the first-ever major celebration in Philadelphia included a parade and a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks.
15. To avoid cracking it, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. To mark the quintessential day, every fourth of July it is symbolically tapped 13 times.
16. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are responsible for the bald eagle as the national bird; Benjamin Franklin wanted it to be the turkey.
17. Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Britain.
18. The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies in the United States each 4th of July.
19. Two of our nation’s great national symbols were made overseas. The Liberty Bell was cast in England, and the Statue of Liberty in France.
20. The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest at age 70, and Edward Rutledge was the youngest at age 26.

Lovin' Life ~~ And the United States of America

Happy Fourth of July!

I am posting these photos as a public service and a special gift to all of you. Last night I stood outside on our deck, clad in my nightgown (yeah, I know, TMI), getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, to get these so that you will have the option of sitting inside your lovely home this evening viewing them, rather than attending a fireworks display.

The Village Hall east of our house a ways had this great fireworks display last night. Tonight, again from our deck, we will be viewing the display at a golf course west of our neighborhood. By the time I could post those though, you would already be covered with mosquito bites! The first few years after we built here, from our deck we watched fireworks displays in seven or eight surrounding communities. Now there are so many mature trees that we only see a couple.

Hope you enjoy these and wish you all a safe, fun-filled, bug-free holiday!

Lovin' Life ~~ And Fireworks