A special guest post for your 4th of July celebrations!!!
Today’s post is from my favorite blogger – my wife Joy! I’m re-posting part of her essay “13 Fourth of July Facts, Fun and Freedom Offerings” from her blog Speaking Joyfully. She’ll share with you some ‘fun facts’ about the 4th! If you are curious to read her whole blogpost, just click here.
Be sure to have a fun (and safe!) day, but remember what the holiday is truly about!
We don’t have to limit our celebration to the Fourth of July! Celebrate freedom the entire weekend – and forever!
Lest we think differing opinions are new to our nation, it is interesting to note that our nation’s Founding Fathers even disagreed — over when to celebrate.
July 2 was the date the Continental Congress voted to separate from Great Britain, but July 4 is when they agreed to the final text of the Declaration of Independence. And, that renowned document wasn’t signed until August!
John Adams maintained July 2 should be the day for celebration; but, as we all know, July 4 took the honor. Thankfully it’s possible to celebrate freedom every day although we may put some extra fun and fireworks into the 4th! My hometown’s “Thunder on the Mountain” is sited near the world’s largest iron ore statue.
No fireworks near you? Watch or stream them.
Psst…here’s a quick refresher on a few facts about the Fourth of July that rarely, if ever, enter our backyard cookout conversations:
- A printer named John Dunlap made around 200 poster-sized copies of the Declaration of Independence for distribution. Those Dunlap Broadsides are extremely valuable; one sold this century for more than $8 million. (Unfortunately, Joy and Charlie Dunlap do not have a copy!)
- Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died in 1826 on the 50th anniversary of the Continental Congress approving the Declaration of Independence.
- Massachusetts was the first state to make July 4 a holiday.
- The first known use of fireworks to celebrate Independence Day was at the 1777 celebration in Philadelphia.
- A 13-gun salute from a ship in Philadelphia’s harbor paid tribute to the 13 colonies and the nation’s independence at that 1777 event.
- Congress did not make the Fourth of July a federal holiday until 1870.
- For the 41st time in history, a musical tribute will air to celebrate Independence Day. Catch A Capitol Fourth on Sunday, July 4 at 8 p.m. ET. Gladys Knight, Alan Jackson and the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets are among those in the entertainment lineup.
- The willow, the peony, the chrysanthemum, and the palm are not only flower and tree names. They are also distinct pyrotechnic displays you’ve probably seen in 4th of July fireworks.
- The Declaration of Independence was not actually signed until August 2, 1776.
- 56 men who represented the 13 colonies ultimately signed the Declaration of Independence. Of them, 25 were lawyers.
- The oldest signer of the Declaration was Benjamin Franklin at age 70. Edward Rutledge, a 26-year-old attorney from South Carolina, was the youngest to affix his signature.
- Eight of the 56 signers were born in either England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland instead of one of the 13 colonies.
- The well-known phrase from the Declaration “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” is thought by some scholars to have been inspired by Virginia’s Declaration of Rights.
For sure, the Declaration of Independence isn’t the only document that talks about life, liberty and happiness. God’s Word, the Bible, tells of the true personal path of freedom that’s available to each of us.
Again, if you’d like to read the rest her blogpost, just click here.
A Lawfire® reader alerted me to a short video you and your family might enjoy today: “My Beautiful America” by Charlie Daniels.
Last year I published an excerpt from what I believe is one of the finest 4th of July speeches ever: President Ronald Reagan’s in 1986. Here’s part of it that I think resonates especially these days:
My fellow Americans, it falls to us to keep faith with them and all the great Americans of our past. Believe me, if there’s one impression I carry with me after the privilege of holding for 5 1/2 years the office held by Adams and Jefferson and Lincoln, it is this: that the things that unite us — America’s past of which we’re so proud, our hopes and aspirations for the future of the world and this much-loved country — these things far outweigh what little divides us. And so tonight we reaffirm that Jew and gentile, we are one nation under God; that black and white, we are one nation indivisible; that Republican and Democrat, we are all Americans. Tonight, with heart and hand, through whatever trial and travail, we pledge ourselves to each other and to the cause of human freedom, the cause that has given light to this land and hope to the world.
Have a wonderful day, and God Bless the U.S.A.!