Life Day 24098: Happy Birthday America

July 4, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | 2 Comments

Today is Thursday, July 4, 2013.
Good morning flag-waving lovers of pyrotechnics. The first holiday today is Independence Day, (aka, the 4th of July). Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring our independence from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson led a committee that crafted the declaration between June 11-28, 1776., and was the primary author of the document. Jefferson and other discontented representatives from the thirteen colonies, voted and approved it on July 4, 1776. The document declared freedom for the 13 colonies from British rule. It currently resides in the Exhibition Hall of the National Archive in Washington, D.C. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress was the first to sign it, followed by the rest of those present, including Thomas Jefferson. However, the remainder of the representatives straggled in from who knows where, and it wasn’t until August 2nd that the Declaration of Independence had been signed by all of the representatives.  If you haven’t read the Declaration of Independence recently, I highly recommend that you click this link and do so.
These days, Independence Day is celebrated with parades, picnics, barbeques, family reunions, and of course, fireworks displays. The tradition of celebrating this holiday with fireworks began on the first anniversary of the signing, in 1777, in Bristol, RI, when they celebrated with two, 13 gun salutes (the number of colonies at the time); one in the morning, then another in the evening.
Here are a few more 4th of July facts:
1. Two of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, who both went on to become  President, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the same date, July 4th, 1826; fifty years after the declaration was signed.
2. Another President and founding father, James Monroe, although he did not sign the declaration, died on July 4th, 1833.
3. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4th, 1872; the only President, so far, to be born on Independence Day.
4. In 1791, the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred.
5. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees. It wasn’t until 1938, that Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.
So, no matter how you are celebrating this most auspicious holiday, do so safely and responsibly. Me, I’m having a good ole fashioned weenie roast in the backyard with my family.

There are some lesser holidays today as well.
The next holiday is Indivisible Day. Indivisible Day is a holiday first proclaimed on July 4, 2002 by Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. It celebrates the unique secular nature of the American Constitution and offers a counterpoint to all the piety some political candidates seem to be expressing these days.

The third holiday today is Country Music Day. Country Music Day, oddly enough, celebrates country music. Country music has been a popular music genre in America for many decades. It represents a whole lifestyle. While other styles of music have taken the country by storm, only to fizzle out or fade away, Country music continues to play on. In my research for this holiday, I fully expected to find that it was created and/or sponsored by a country music association or a powerhouse country music radio station, but that was not the case. In fact, I couldn’t find any information on the creation or history of this holiday. Oh well, Rock On, country music, Rock On!!

Another holiday today is Sidewalk Egg Frying Day. This holiday is one that sits on the cusp of being a food-related holiday, but I opted not to include it there. I have first hand experience at frying an egg on a sidewalk. I did so at Williams AFB, near Phoenix, AZ, one hot August day in 1973. I learned that frying an egg on a sidewalk can be done, but it is time consuming, messy, and afterwards, the egg is inedible. In many parts of the country, temperatures are well over 100°, so if you feel like celebrating this holiday, and wasting an egg, you can certainly give it a try. Good luck  with the bacon, hash browns and toast too.

Riding on the coattails of Independence Day, today’s final holiday is also one that could have been included in the food-related category as well. Today is also Independence From Meat Day. Independence From Meat Day, surprisingly, is sponsored by the Vegetarian Awareness Network. Need I say more. They ask: “Why not fix a freedom feast on this Independence Day featuring veggie burgers and veggie dogs for your family and friends?”
Well let me answer that question. Because, I don’t want to become estranged from my family, and I want to give my friends the opportunity to use the canine teeth (given to them by God’s design), for their intended purpose; chewing MEAT!!

The actual food-related holiday is National Barbecued Spareribs Day(take that vegetarians). Many gatherings today will include a barbecue, and many of these barbecues will feature spareribs. National Barbecued Spareribs Day salutes this classic dish.
Spare ribs come from the belly side of the pig’s rib cage, above the sternum and below the back ribs, which extend about 6″ down from the spine. Compared to the curved baby back ribs, spare ribs are longer, but flatter and heavier, and contain more bone than meat. However, the greater proportion of fat makes spare ribs more tender than baby back ribs, and the ribs are full of meaty flavor. The name “spare ribs” may relate to the spare amount of meat on the ribs. In American cuisine, they are usually smoked, then barbecued on the grill.

On this date in 1803 – The Louisiana Purchase was announced in newspapers. The property was purchased, by the U.S. from France, was for $15 million (or 3 cents an acre).
Also on this date in history:
1802 – The U.S. Military Academy officially opened at West Point, NY.
1817 – Construction began on the Erie Canal, to connect Lake Erie and the Hudson River.
1848 – The cornerstone for the Washington Monument was laid in Washington, DC.
1881 – Tuskegee Institute opened in Alabama.
1884 – Bullfighting was introduced in the U.S. in Dodge City, KS.
1886 – The first rodeo in America was held at Prescott, AZ.
1892 – The first double-decked streetcar service was inaugurated in San Diego, CA.
1910 – Race riots broke out all over the United States after African-American Jack Johnson knocked out Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match.
1934 – At Mount Rushmore, George Washington’s face was dedicated.
1946 – The Philippines achieved full independence for the first time in over four hundred years.
1955 – The first king cobra snakes born in captivity in the U.S. hatched at the Bronx Zoo in New York City.
1960 – The 50-star U.S. flag made its debut in Philadelphia, PA.
1966 – President Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, which went into effect the following year.
1987 – Klaus Barbie, the former Gestapo chief known as the “Butcher of Lyon,” was convicted by a French court of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison.
2004 – In New York, the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower was laid on the former World Trade Center site.
And, in 2009 – The Statue of Liberty’s crown reopened to visitors. It had been closed to the public since 2001.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following noteworthy individuals:
Nathaniel Hawthorne 1804 – Author.
Stephen Foster 1826 – Songwriter.
Rube Goldberg 1883 – Cartoonist.
George Murphy 1902 – Actor, politician.
Mitch Miller 1911 – Musician, conductor.
Eva Marie Saint 1924 – Actress.
Neil Simon 1927 – Playwright.
Gina Lollobrigida 1928 – Actress.
Bill Withers 1938 – Singer.
Geraldo Rivera 1943 – Journalist.
Al Wilson 1943 – Musician.
Jeremy Spencer 1948 – Musician.
John Waite 1955 – Singer.
And finally, Signy Coleman 1960 – Actress.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone!

    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Carry on the excellent work!

    Like

    • Thank you. Where do you read it? Word Press, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr?

      Like


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