The Fourth of July is truly a time to be unabashedly American. To get those red, white and blue decorations and celebrate the birth of a country that not only brought us electricity, cars, and rock n roll but transcended the planet and touched the moon. Also, cell phones, the internet, and the Panama Canal as well.
Although you may not support everything the U.S. does (and you don’t have to, that’s part of what makes it so awesome), it is hard to argue that a nation of such outstanding achievements deserves anything less than a full day all of its own. So for that reason, get your sparklers ready and prepare to make it a very American day.
The History of the Fourth of July
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Though the Continental Congress formerly voted to separate from Great Britain on July 2nd, 1776, the drafting and signing of the actual declaration of that independence was completed on the 4th of July. It is quite humorous to read some statements from the 3rd of July from the founders, stating that they believed the second of July would be the day of largest importance in our nation.
Mistaken assumptions about the importance of either event aside, the first few days of July marked the beginning of the United States as an independent political force.
America would, of course, go on to win their war for independence – but the holiday of the Fourth of July was not an officially recognized day just yet. Every year small celebrations were held in its honor, but in 1781, the Massachusetts became the first state to make it an official state event.
In fact, it wasn’t until 1938 that Congress marked Independence Day as a paid federal holiday – it was declared an unpaid holiday in 1870.
Watch this short video for a simple and easy explanation of the history behind July 4th.
Fourth of July Activities
There are a plethora of Fourth of July games, and Fourth of July recipes out there. In fact, whole sites are dedicated to ideas for a Fourth of July party. We could never cover them all in the scope of one blog, but I want to give you a start on planning your own event for America’s big day.
Holding a barbecue with decorations and Fourth of July themes hats is always a favorite. Sparklers, red, white and blue snow cones, some hamburgers and silly hats can go a long way for making a great summer event.
One of my favorite ideas for Fourth of July outfits is making your own tricorne hats. Young kids love dressing up spend time making them with the kids the day before. For even more family related activities, visit our secure site https://www.geeker.com and sign up to read ‘The Declaration of Independence’ for young readers on Geeker to prepare them for the big day.
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What if You Can’t Do Fireworks?
Fireworks, parades, and barbecues are the quintessential staple of the day in most areas, though some neighborhoods have banned the use of personal fireworks. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them though. Many locations have official firework displays for the public. Google your area and see if any are occurring near you, also look up any parades while you are at it.
Watch Disney World’s awesome July 4th 2016 fireworks display!
Instead of fireworks, you could also try some fun alternatives. Creating colored soda explosions are tons of fun and still give that exciting bang kid love. Get a 2-litre bottle of red soda and a 2-litre bottle of a blue soda (or whatever colors you want) and some packs of Mentos. Drop the entire package of Mentos into the soda bottle at once and get back! – just be sure you are in an area that can handle some soda mess. (Here are some more in-depth instructions about soda explosions.) This is a great activity for the kids to compliment a barbecue.
Another alternative is sparkle balloon popping, but just stocking up on glow in the dark materials and objects can make for a very Fourth of July-esque event if you can’t do the fireworks thing.
Appreciate being an American
It can be easy to take what you have for granted. We live in such a divisive time it can be hard to see the trees from the forest and to reflect on not only what this country meant to the world when it was created, but also how it evolved even further to fulfill its stated obligations to humankind.
As critical as many are of the nation, it is the freedoms we are granted by our founding documents that allow this criticism.
We live in a beautiful country that has shown an indelible desire to improve itself – and that is something worth celebrating no matter what you believe.
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