Showing posts with label Independence Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Independence Day. Show all posts

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Independence Day is traditionally a time for celebration, relaxation and gratitude for the liberties declared to be universal rights on July 4, 1776. Maybe it’s time to also remember — and celebrate — that while our liberties and our independence may have been declared in 1776, they were secured for posterity by the blood of patriots, not the pens and inkblots of judges and politicians.

As a poet of the ’60s once said, the times they are a-changing. Indeed.
It is not a happy thought, but when in the course of human events, dependence not independence becomes the defining feature of our national character, maybe our Independence Day celebrations and speeches should take note of this “transformative” turning point—and make plans accordingly.
Shall we celebrate that we are not yet as corrupt as Greece? That we have not yet repudiated our national debts? Or should we put down the bottle and admit how fast we are approaching that day of reckoning?
Can anyone remember a week that has seen so many disappointments, betrayals and storm warnings as the one we have lived through since the Supreme Court’s shameless abandonment of the Constitution on June 26? We got more than revitalized Obamacare on that day, we got a cold shower: it is now impossible to ignore the naked truth that our elites are laughing at the idea of “limited government.”
True, there have been other decisions of the nation’s top court that have disappointed, even shocked conservatives. But has there ever been a ruling that said in giant letters written across the marquee in Times Square, “the Constitution be damned, separation of powers be damned, we will help Congress write laws we like and reject laws we don’t like.”
On Independence Day 2015, conservatives and patriots need to understand what has happened. By edict signed by our new lawgiver– the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush– the Founders’ principal legacy, the idea of a written Constitution, is now officially dead. The letter of the law is meaningless – and thus no longer a restraint on government — when replaced by the good intentions of our elite rulers.
Thomas Jefferson’s proposition that rights precede government and to protect these rights, governments are instituted among men—that proposition is now discarded in the dustbin of history. The Bill of Rights? Freedom of religion and free speech will mean what enlightened judges want them to mean.
The Republican Party’s white flag of surrender, deployed so often and so readily on Supreme Court nominees and Cabinet appointments, has become the Constitution’s white burial shroud.
Our Founders were not na├»ve simpletons. They understood that human freedom is a fragile thing, that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” The Founders understood, with Benjamin Franklin, that “you have a Republic, madam, if you can keep it.” Have we?

John Adams Wanted Independence Day On July 2, Not July 4

Founding Father John Adams thought that America's independence day celebration should be on July 2, not July 4. July 2, 1776 was day the Continental Congress voted for independence. (Karsun Designs Photography/Flickr)

Founding Father John Adams thought that America’s independence day celebration should be on July 2, not July 4. July 2, 1776 was day the Continental Congress voted for independence. (Karsun Designs Photography/Flickr)
As the Founding Fathers established the United States of America, they had their eyes on the future and they knew they were making history. But not everyone had the same opinion of the timeline of that history.
Most thought the big day was July 4, when then Continental Congress approved the text of the Declaration of Independence and sent it to the printer. But John Adams believed July 2, 1776, was the really the big day.
In one of the two letters he wrote to his wife Abigail from Philadelphia on July 3, 1776, John Adams said: “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.”
July 2 was the day the Continental Congress voted for independence. It approved a resolution that said: “these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have, full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States may rightfully do.”
On the day they took that vote, John wrote to Abigail: “It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by Solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
That is, of course, exactly what happens now on the Fourth of July, not the second.
John Adams, who was right about so much, was also right about the way we would celebrate independence. Just not the date.

[VIDEO] Get in the July 4th Spirit with This Epic Independence Day Speech

While you gear up for July 4th, remember what this holiday is all about: patriotism, independence from Great Britain and kicking some alien butt. 

Or at least that's the lesson we got from 1996's Independence Day, which features one of the most inspirational speeches of all time. 

"We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore," President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) tells a crowd of soldiers preparing to launch a worldwide attack against intergalactic intruders. 

"We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the 4th of July and you will once again be fighting for our freedom – not from tyranny, oppression or persecution – but from annihilation." 

"We're fighting for our right to live, to exist," he continues. "And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday but as the day when the world declared in one voice: 'We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!' 

What was the weather like on July 4, 1776?

July 4, 1776
Independence Day


On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed signifying our independence from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson drafted this historical document but he also kept weather logs. Here’s what he recorded for the first Independence Day, 239 years ago.

Philadelphia Weather Conditions, July 4, 1776
6am: 68°  //  1pm: 76°  //  Warm and humid day*
*Keep in mind that heavy suits and wigs were the fashion of the time. There was not the luxury of air conditioning either.

Here’s how Jefferson describes his ritual, “My method is to make two observations a day, the one as early as possible in the morning, the other from 3. to 4. aclock, because I have found 4. aclock the hottest and day light the coldest point of the 24. hours. I state them in an ivory pocket book in the following form, and copy them out once a week.”

In the 1700’s, personal weather diaries allowed people to keep track of the weather. By the 1800’s the U.S. Weather Bureau was founded and became known as the National Weather Service during the 1900’s.
~ Meteorologist Candice Boling

[VIDEOS] Good Question: Why Do We Celebrate Independence Day On July 4?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Fourth of July is the celebration of America’s independence, but here’s a little known fact: We didn’t actually declare our independence on that day.
So why do we celebrate on July 4?
On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence, which is the date on the document. But the Continental Congress had actually declared independence on July 2.
It wasn’t until July 8 that the city of Philadelphia celebrated, and then-Gen. George Washington didn’t know the declaration was official until July 9. Most of the signers penned their names on August 2. The news didn’t reach England until mid-August.
The fourth of July didn’t become an official U.S. holiday until 1870.

Ultimate American food recipes for Independence Day

We share our all-time favourite American recipes to whip up this 4th of July. Anyone for Mississippi mud pie?

Mississippi mud pie
Mississippi mud pie Photo: ANDREW CROWLEY
It’s not only classic works of fine art, but also handbags, sunglasses, vintage cars and clothing that are now going under the hammer of traditional auction houses online.
Sponsored by Barnebys
This Saturday, Americans will be celebrating Independence Day in style. But why can't we Brits get in on the fun?
Supersized burgers, heart-stopping slabs of cheesecake and huge vats of fish chowder... these are the foods that America is famous for doing best.
So don't be shy. Go all out and enjoy the below recipes for what they are; full-on American decadence.

An Inside Look at America's Weirdest Independence Day Tradition

Turning gluttony into a spectator sport is the epitome of Americana. That makes our nation’s birthday the perfect day for the granddaddy of all competitive eating showdowns.

“The hot-dog contest is a physical manifestation of the concept of freedom,” said George Shea, the mastermind behind the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island. “The contest has come to represent the spirit of July 4th itself. That is why people go to the event. It is kind of a pilgrimage to the center of July 4th and the center of freedom.”

When our country celebrates its precious freedom Saturday with backyard barbecues and picnics in the park—tables piled high with burgers, frankfurters, potato salad and apple pie—some of us will declare independence from our diet. But it’s swimsuit season, so millions of Americans with more self-control will watch what they eat.

Not me. I will watch what Joey Chestnut eats.

I will be a judge at the Coney Island contest. More than 30,000 fans of the absurd will pack the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues to watch the annual feeding frenzy—the Super Bowl of eating contests. 

I have been assigned to count the franks consumed by Chestnut, the eight-time defending champion and undisputed greatest competitive eater in history. I’m practicing counting fast. Last year, Chestnut inhaled 61 hot dogs and buns—mustn’t forget the buns—in 10 minutes. As competitors in the I.F.O.C.E. (International Federation of Competitive Eating) will tell you, the buns are what drag you down in a hot-dog contest.

This will be my 10th judging the contest in a row. As the only journalist allowed behind the scenes, I have a front row seat and backstage pass to the weirdest Independence Day tradition in America.
Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand opened in 1916. Legend has it that they held a hot-dog eating contest that year. But official results weren’t recorded and kept until 1972, when Jason Schechter scarfed down 14 HD&B.

HD&B—that's how professional eating insiders refer to hot dogs and buns.

For the next few decades, the contest sputtered along with small crowds watching the winners eat between 10 and 20 dogs. Occasionally, a contestant had an exceptionally strong appetite and consumed 22 or 23…up to 25 franks. Few paid much attention. They were mostly big fat guys eating too much. It wasn’t pretty.  

Everything changed in 2001. Takeru "The Tsunami" Kobayashi, a skinny Japanese contestant barely out of his teens and packing swagger, rocked the world of highly processed meat and enriched white flour buns by stuffing 50 HD&B—double the previous record—in his belly.

Kobayashi employed a revolutionary technique of separating the hot dogs and buns, breaking the dogs in half and squishing the buns in water. Then he shoved the whole mess in his mouth. The waterlogged buns made everything slide down his throat with minimal chewing. Kobayashi called this “the Solomon Method.”

Why “Soloman Method?” Remember the biblical tale of wise King Soloman, who was confronted by two women, both claiming to be the mother of the same baby? In order to divine the true mother, Solomon said he would simply cut the baby in two, and give half to each woman. The first woman agreed to the deal. The other woman said no, I’d rather give up my baby than agree to this insane solution. Obviously she was the real mother.
Cut the baby in half—break the hot dogs in half. Get it? That’s Kobayashi, wise beyond his years. And one heck of an eater.

Kobayashi won six consecutive July 4th contests, peaking at 53 and 3/4 hot dogs.
Enter Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, a strapping 6-foot-3, 230-pound, Opie-looking lad from San Jose, California. Chestnut wolfed down 66 HD&B in 2007, rendering Kobayashi a dainty eater. Chestnut hasn’t lost since. He holds the all-time record, set in 2013, of 69 HD&B.
You could point to the Kobayashi-Chestnut rivalry as heralding the golden age of the July 4th hot-dog contest. Huge crowds pour into Coney Island to watch 15 men and 15 women swallow frankfurters at a furious pace. It is a chow down to the finish.

Editorial Cartoon: 4th of July

Fourth of July 2015 quotes, inspirations, history: celebrating America's Independence Day

The Fourth of July 2015 has arrived, and millions will be celebrating America's Day of Independence on Saturday and throughout the weekend.

Even though America has had its freedom since 1776, the Fourth of July's history may surprise: America's Fourth of July celebration has only been official since 1941.

The Fourth of July has been celebrated since the beginning of America's freedom, however.
From "In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues."

In honor of America's Independence Day, here are some inspirational quotes about freedom for the Fourth of July 2015:

"Give me liberty or give me death!" –Patrick Henry

 I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth all the means. This is our day of deliverance."  --John Adams

"It is, indeed, a fallacy, base on no logic at all, for any American to suggest that the rule of force can defeat human freedom in all the other parts of the world and permit it to survive in the United States alone. But it has been that childlike fantasy itself that misdirected faith which has led nation after nation to go about their peaceful tasks, relying on the thought, and even the promise, that they and their lives and their government would be allowed to live when the juggernaut of force came their way." --Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941

"Equal and exact justice to all men...freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected, these principles form the bright constellation, which has gone before us." --Thomas Jefferson

"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." — Harry S. Truman

"Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth." --George Washington

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." --Thomas Jefferson

"My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth." --Abraham Lincoln 

4th Of July Trivia Facts 2015: 15 Fun Things To Know About Independence Day

Fireworks Fourth of July 4th
Happy birthday, America! Picnics, barbeques, cold drinks and fireworks: These are just some of the staples of the Fourth of July. But without America’s Founding Fathers -- George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and James Monroe -- there wouldn’t be an Independence Day to celebrate.
While most Americans know that the U.S.’s birthday is celebrated on July 4, it’s a misconception that all the signers of the Declaration of Independence signed it on the Fourth of July. For more fun facts about America’s Independence Day, keep reading:
1. How many people signed the Declaration of Independence on July Fourth?
2. What day did most signers of the Declaration of Independence actually sign the document?
Aug. 2, 1776.
3. Did you know which president was born on July 4?
It was Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, in 1872.
4. Which three presidents died on the Fourth of July:
They were three of the first five presidents: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. The second president, Adams, and the third, Jefferson, both died in 1826, the 50th anniversary.
5. Most of the Founding Fathers agreed that July Fourth is the correct day to celebrate America’s independence from Great Britain -- except one. Who is it and why?
Adams thought July 2, the day the Second Continental Congress voted in Philadelphia to declare independence from Britain, would be the day patriots celebrated. “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America,” Adams wrote on July 3. “It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
6. When did the Fourth of July become a legal federal holiday?
1870. Then, in 1938, Congress reaffirmed the holiday to make sure all workers received full pay.
7. Is there something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence?  
Yes! It’s said the following is written upside down and backwards:  “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.” It’s not known who wrote it, or when. In Revolutionary War years, parchment was rolled up, so this probably served as a message.
8. The Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Contest has become an annual tradition. How did it start?
It’s a pretty cute story: Legend has it that four immigrants got into an argument over who was most patriotic. To prove themselves, they ate as many hot dogs as they could handle -- because nothing says America like excess.
9. America isn’t the only nation that celebrates the Fourth of July. Which other countries do, and why?
It might sound odd, but if you celebrate the Fourth of July outside the U.S., you still might see fireworks in Denmark, England, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. This is because thousands of people emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Some European celebrations on the Fourth take place near tourist destinations -- to attract U.S. travelers -- or near American military bases.
10. When were fireworks first used to celebrate July Fourth?
1777. Congress chose fireworks as a way to celebrate the first anniversary. They were ignited over Philadelphia. The celebration also included bonfires and bells.
11. How many people lived in the U.S. when the Declaration was signed?
2.5 million.
12. What baseball player threw a 4-0 no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox on July 4, 1983?
New York Yankees pitcher Dave Righetti. It was the first no-hitter in 27 years.
13. Which newspaper first printed the Declaration of Independence? 
The Pennsylvania Evening Post
14. Which president first held a Fourth of July celebration at the White House?
Thomas Jefferson
15. Which country gained independence from the United States on July Fourth?
The Philippines did in 1946.

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