Happy Fourth…and some Fun Facts about this Great Holiday!

First of all, let’s all be thankful for what we have, where we are, and whom we’re with. Even though times have changed for now we all seem to rally to be the best we can be. That is part of what the American spirit is about.

The Continental Congress voted for American independence on July 2nd 1776. So why do we shoot fireworks in the sky and have barbecues on the 4th? Because the Declaration of Independence was fully accepted by Congress two days later. (The government taking its sweet time even before we were a country!)

Although the Declaration of Independence was accepted on July 4th it wasn’t officially signed by every member until nearly a month later on August 2nd, 1776. However the document was dated July 4th, 1776.

After the initial vote John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, that the holiday would be celebrated with parades and fireworks. The first full-fledged Independence Day celebration took place a year later in 1777. The festivities happened in Bristol, Rhode Island, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first White House Independence Day party didn’t happen until 1801.

Today the 4th of July is America’s day to consume copious amounts of alcohol with over 1 billion spent on beer every year and over half a million on wine. This tradition started back when the Continental Army were given extra allowances of rum to celebrate Independence Day.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were both critical components of making our Independence Day happen. Each died on the same day… July 4th, 1826, exactly 50 years after the first Independence Day celebration.

To me the best part of the 4th of July is to connect with your neighbors and the ones you love. In our neighborhood all the people on our block sit around at the bottom of the cul-de-sac with chairs provided by a host neighbor and watch the fireworks explode right over our heads. It’s fun to watch the kids whom have perhaps never seen such a display on display. Of course the domestic animals hate this holiday as they run for cover in their respective homes cringing after each explosion.

And then there is the wonderful food prepared to be shared. This is a holiday that certainly promotes the connection between people and the passing of food down a table decorated with the Red, White, and Blue. Enjoy the typical 4th of July menu consisting of shared platters of barbecued chicken, burgers, sliced steak, potato/macaroni salad, corn on the cob or green beans/baked beans, and for the perfect finish… the classic apple pie Alamode (with ice cream).

Whatever the reason the important message is to connect with each other and enjoy the real or imagined stories from your friends or relatives that seem to grow in magnitude each year… or as the liquor begins to take its desired affect.

Fireworks and liquor together… What could go wrong?

Have a wonderful 4th of July celebrating our great country filled with all the possibilities you deserve.