Don't get me wrong.. I enjoy the BBQ's and the fireworks, but I enjoy reading about the history of it as well. Learning new things every year.
- June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress, looking to promote national pride and unity, adopted the national flag. “Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
- The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence did not sign at the same time, nor did they sign on July 4, 1776. The official event occurred on August 2, 1776, when 50 men signed it.
- The names of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were withheld from the public for more than six months to protect the signers. If independence had not been achieved, the treasonable act of the signers would have, by law, resulted in their deaths.
- The origin of Uncle Sam probably began in 1812, when Samuel Wilson was a meat packer who provided meat to the US Army. The meat shipments were stamped with the initials, U.S. Someone joked that the initials stood for “Uncle Sam”. This joke eventually led to the idea of Uncle Sam symbolizing the United States government.
- In 1941, Congress declared 4th of July a federal legal holiday. It is one of the few federal holidays that have not been moved to the nearest Friday or Monday. source
I think, we as a people, tend to forget where things come from. The men who signed the declaration were in fact committing a huge crime and would have been killed had it not been accepted. I never really thought about how many people have died protecting our freedom before a couple of years ago. The people who willingly gave up their lives in support of America. While you're celebrating at your BBQ's and firework displays (and I will be too), don't forget about the men and women who served or are currently serving that gave you "just another 3 day weekend".