|Hope you all had an enjoyable Independence Day, we certainly did. It rained the first half of the day & we were all a bit concerned that the fireworks wouldn't go off as scheduled. For a small town they really do a bang up job with their fireworks display and I can say with much certainty that at least 3/4 of the population turns out for the festivities. One of the best viewpoints is in the high school parking lot. That is if you can avoid all of the light poles. Which it turns out we didn't. So, there seems to be a portion of that pole in each & every shot. Do you all find it as difficult to shoot fireworks as I do? I keep working at it and maybe one of these days I'll get it, but for now this is the best I can get!
Late in the afternoon the dark clouds parted, the rains stopped and the sun even came out. Just in time for Jack & Barb, Dick, Larry & I to get together at 4pm for snacks prior to our 5:30pm BBQ. Larry cooked up our favorite, stuffed jalapeno peppers. Along with chips, salsa, veggies & dip.Yummy...Followed by steak, macaroni salad (prepared by Dick with a bit of help from Lou by phone!) and grilled corn-on-the-cob, prepared by Jack. Afterward we took our usual walk to the back of the property to walk off enough calories to justify the homemade upside down cake, alamode. Oh my, the cake was 50/50 raspberry & plum with additional homemade sauce to cover the ice cream. I need 3 walks a day to keep up my girlish figure when Jack & Barb are in town!
I don't know if you've ever read, or remember, a bit of history about this particular holiday. But if you'd like to know a bit more, read on...
Independence Day, in the U.S., is an annual holiday commemorating the formal adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia. Although the signing of the Declaration was not completed until August, the Fourth of July holiday has been accepted as the official anniversary of United States independence and is celebrated in all states and territories of the U.S.
At the time of the signing the United States consisted of 13 colonies under the rule of England's King George III. There was a growing unrest in the colonies concerning the taxes that had to be paid to England. This was commonly referred to as "Taxation without Representation" as the colonists did not have any representation in the English Parliament and had no say in what went on. As the unrest grew in the colonies, King George sent extra troops to help control any rebellion. In 1774 the 13 colonies sent delegates to Philadelphia Pennsylvania to form the First Continental Congress. The delegates were unhappy with England, but were not yet ready to declare war.
In April 1775 as the King's troops advanced on Concord Massachusetts, the battle of Concord would mark the unofficial beginning of the colonies war for Independence.
In June 1776 a committee was formed to compose a formal declaration of independence. Headed by Thomas Jefferson, the committee included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. Thomas Jefferson was chosen to write the first draft which was presented to the congress on June 28. A vote was taken late in the afternoon of July 4th. Of the 13 colonies, 9 voted in favor of the Declaration, 2 - Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted No, Delaware was undecided and New York abstained. To make it official John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence.
On July 8th the Declaration had it's first public reading in Philadelphia's Independence Square. Twice that day the Declaration was read to cheering crowds and pealing church bells. Even the bell in Independence Hall was rung. The "Province Bell" which would later be renamed "Liberty Bell" after it's inscription - "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof."
The holiday was first observed in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776, at which time the Declaration of Independence was read aloud, city bells rang, and bands played. People celebrated with fireworks and with candles which they lit and placed in their windows.
The first Independence Day celebration took place the following year - July 4 1777. By the early 1800s the traditions of parades, picnics, and fireworks were established as the way to celebrate America's birthday. It was declared a legal holiday in 1941.
Today, as you know, the Fourth of July is traditionally celebrated publicly with parades and pageants, patriotic speeches, and organized firing of guns and cannons and displays of fireworks. I just know that on this day Larry & I feel very thankful that these great men drafted this declaration. Let freedom ring!