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Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the
individual who can labor in freedom. - Albert Einstein

Hot July brings cooling showers,
apricots and yellow flowers,
firecrackers, flags, picnics and parties
that help us herald the birthday
of our country.

The Story of America's Birthday

At the time of the signing the US consisted of 13 colonies under the rule of England's King George III. There was 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 Paul Revere would sound the alarm that "The British are coming, the British are coming" as he rode his horse through the late night streets. The battle of Concord and it's "shot heard round the world" would mark the unofficial beginning  of the colonies war for Independence.

The following May the colonies again sent delegates to the Second Continental Congress. For almost a year the congress tried to work out it's differences with England, again without formally declaring war.

By June 1776 their efforts had become hopeless and 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. After various changes 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 undecided and New York abstained.

To make it official John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence. It is said that John Hancock's  signed his name "with a great flourish" so "King George can read that without spectacles!".

The following day copies of the Declaration were distributed. The first newspaper to print the Declaration was the Pennsylvania Evening Post on July 6, 1776. 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" would later be renamed "Liberty Bell" after it's inscription -

Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof 

And although the signing of the Declaration was not completed until August, the 4th of July
has been accepted as the official anniversary of United States independence. 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. And although fireworks have been banned in most places because of their danger, most towns and cities usually have big firework displays for all to see and enjoy.

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Pennsylvania Declaration of Independence (signers)

Robert Morris * Benjamin Rush * Benjamin Franklin 
George Clymer * James Smith * John Morton
George Taylor * James Wilson * George Ross

Read the Text of the Declaration of Independence

Visit Independence Hall

Independence Hall is, by every estimate, the birthplace of the United States. It was within its walls that the Declaration of Independence was adopted. It was here that the Constitution of the United States was debated,
drafted and signed.

 

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The Liberty Bell, historic bell in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, rung on July 8, 1776, after the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence . The bell weighs 943.5 kg (2080 lb.) and is 3.7 m (12 ft) in circumference at the lip. The bell bears the following inscription: Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof. Leviticus XXV:X. The bell was ordered in 1751 and was cast in London. It arrived in Philadelphia in August 1752 and was cracked while being tested. It was melted down, and a second bell was cast in April 1753, but this one was also defective. A third was cast in June of that year, by the firm of Pass and Stowe in Philadelphia. On June 7, 1753, the third bell was hung in the tower of Independence Hall. In 1777, during the American Revolution, British troops occupied Philadelphia. The bell was removed from the tower and taken to Allentown, Pennsylvania, for safekeeping. It was returned to Philadelphia and replaced in Independence Hall in 1778. Thereafter, the bell was rung on every July 4 and on every state occasion until 1835, when, according to tradition, it cracked as it was being tolled for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall. The bell was moved to its present location in a glass pavilion near Independence Hall in 1976.

Visit the Homepage of the Liberty Bell

Visit the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Location: Liberty Bell Pavilion, Market Street
between 5th & 6th, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A chime that changed the world occurred on July 8, 1776,
when the Liberty Bell rang out from the tower of Independence
Hall summoning citizens to hear the first public reading of
the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon.

Liberty For All

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France. The statue (originally entitled, "Liberty Enlightening the world" began construction in 1875 and was completed in 1884, and which the people of France presented the Statue to America on July 4, 1884. In early 1885, she was dismantled and shipped to the U.S. on the French frigate "Isere" in 350 pieces contained in 214 crates. In 1886, it was put together and President Grover Cleveland officially accepted it.

"We will not forget that liberty here made her move; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected." She was designated a national monument on October 15, 1924.

7 spikes in crown represent: 7 oceans of the world.
25 windows in the crown represent: natural minerals of the earth.
Toga represents: The Ancient Republic of Rome.
Torch represents: Enlightenment.
Chains underfoot represent: Liberty crushing the chains of slavery.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
Emma Lazaarus (1849-1887)

"I know not what course others may take
but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."
-Patrick Henry

The Pledge of Allegiance A Short History
United States Facts
Declaration of Independence

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the largest city of Pennsylvania and the fifth largest city in the United States. Philadelphia is located in the southeastern corner of the state, at the junction of the Delaware River and Schuylkill River. Philadelphia is about 100 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and is located about halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C..

Because of the prevailing westerly winds that sweep weather systems eastward from the interior of the continent, the Atlantic Ocean has a relatively small effect on Pennsylvania climate. The state has climates that are generally known as humid continental. There are
distinct seasonal variations and an abundance of rainfall. 

The Delaware river is one of the major rivers of the eastern United States. In 1776, George Washington led his troops across the Delaware to defeat German mercenaries allied with the British in the Battle of Trenton. In 1861, the land was granted by Charles II of England to William Penn. In 1683, the city became the capital of the newly created colony of  Pennsylvania. Philadelphia played a big role in the events leading to the American Revolution. (1775-1783). The Continental Congress met in Philadelphia from 1774 to 1776 and the Declaration of Independence was signed there in 1776.

What do the red, white, and blue of the flag represent?

The Continental Congress left no record to show why it chose the colors. However, in 1782, the Congress of the Confederation chose these same colors for the Great Seal of the United States and listed their meaning as follows: white to mean purity and innocence, red for valor and hardiness, and blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. According to legend, George Washington interpreted the elements of the flag this way: the stars were taken from the sky, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified the secession from the home country. However, there is no official designation or meaning for the colors of the flag. (Betsy Ross Homepage)

Paul Revere's Ride
"Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load...
So through the night rode Paul Revere"
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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I'm Donna and this is Chuck.... Glad you stopped on in. :o)

~ Happy July 4th from my family to yours ~ Donnasig.gif (684 bytes)

The 4th of July is a Time for Family Picnic's and Bar-b-que's.
Here's some cool dishes to serve to your guests.

Sinful Stuffed Burgers

Hamburger Meat (about two pounds)
1/2 Medium Onion Diced Finely
Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Salt
Adolph's Meat Tenderizer
Granulated Garlic ~ Worchester Sauce
Wax Paper Sheets ~ Cheese Slices

Cut hamburger in 8 to 10 even pieces. Roll cut pieces into round balls like a large meatball. Place on ball into large piece of waxpaper. Fold top of wax paper over and press into a thin patty 5" to 6" across. Form into a circle with your hand. Sprinkle seasonings on one side. Place seasoned side down on narrow sheet of wax paper. Press another ball into a thin patty and form into a circle. Sprinkle both patties with seasonings. Add to the patty on the narrow sheet, some of the diced onion (thin layer), splash of worchester sauce and cover onion with a slice of cheese if desired. Press sides together and seal up patty. Sprinkle top with seasonings. You now have the ultimate patty. Repeat process until all the meat is used up. To cook, open top and bottom vents all the way open. Place patties directly on the grill. Cook 2 minutes and turn over. Use care when you turn them so they do not fall apart. Cook for 2 more minutes. Close top vent all the way and bottom 1/8. Cook for 6 minutes. Place cheese on top if you like more cheese and cook 1 more minute. Use the same times and spices for regular hamburgers too.

Country Potato Salad

1 tsp. salt 2 lbs. potatoes or new potatoes
1 1/2 tbsp. white wine vinegar 1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. finely ground fresh black pepper 1 c. diced celery
1/2 c. diced green pepper 1/2 c. diced red onion
2 c. good-quality mayonnaise

Bring a large kettle of water to boil over high heat. Add the salt and the potatoes, and cook until the potatoes are nearly tender but still firm in the center, about 15 minutes. Whisk the vinegar, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Drain the potatoes, and when cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place in a bowl with the vinegar mixture, toss until coated, and then let cool. When the potatoes are cool, add the diced vegetables, and toss until thoroughly incorporated. Add the mayonnaise to the potato mixture. Toss until all the vegetables are coated with the mayonnaise. Chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Makes about 12 servings.

The Best Baked Beans Ever

2 16 oz. can pork & beans 2 tbsp. liquid smoke
1/2 c. brown sugar 1 tsp. dry mustard
2 cloves garlic (minced) 1/2 small onion (minced)
1 tbsp. cider vinegar 1 green pepper (minced)
2 tbsp. worchestershire sauce 1 tsp. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a pan. Bake @ 350 for about 1 1/2 hours.

Apple Crisp Recipe

8 medium apples, peeled & sliced ( a variety of apples always works well i.e. Macintosh's & Rome Beauties, for example)

1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons orange juice
grated rind of 1 orange

For Topping:

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt 6 tbsps butter or margarine

Slice apples into a greased 9-inch square pan or a 1-quart casserole. Stir the orange juice, lemon juice and orange rind into the apples. Mix brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl. Cut in the butter. Mix well. Spread topping mixture onto apples. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Let cool; serve with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Flag Etiquette

1. A flag on a car should be attached to the antenna or right fender.
2. Stars should face left on a flag in a window.
3. The U.S. flag should fly above other flags on a flagpole.
4. An upside-down flag is a sign of distress.
5. A flag at half-mast is a sign of mourning.
6. When raising or lowering a flag half-mast, you must first raise the flag to the top of the flagpole.
7. It is unacceptable to lower a flag over a casket into a grave.
8. It is OK to display a flag at night if it is properly illuminated.
9. The blue portion of the flag should be visible on a properly folded flag.
10. You should give a flag that's beyond repair to your local government or American Legion Post to dispose of.

links

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Donna's Patriotic Quilt Squares

Donna's Patriotic Adoptions Huddle Holidays
The Pledge of Allegiance A Short History
Declaration of Independence
United States Facts
The Backyard Bar-b-Que Bar-B-Q

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The graphics used to represent Me and my family were made by ME They are NOT Public Domain Nor available for Download!
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