Independence Day. The Fourth Of July. The national day and federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration Of The Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. It is a day that is celebrated throughout the United States, marked by patriotic songs and firework displays of gigantic proportions across the country. History states that in 1777, Philadelphia acknowledged the 4th of July by the ringing of bells, gun fire, lighting candles and the setting off of fireworks. Alas, the beginning of the traditions of the American spirit and the holiday that represented it, indeed! Interestingly, it was not until 1783 that July 4th was considered a holiday in some areas of the United states and it was not until 1941 that Congress declared July 4th a federal holiday.
This American celebration is traditionally swagged in layers of buntings and flags. True American style. Of interest, prior the the Civil War, American flag makers imported primarily English bunting for the manufacture of the nation’s flags. It was in 1865 that General Benjamin F. Butler incorporated the United States Bunting Company and began producing flag bunting in the U.S. In fact, in 1866, an agent of Butler, De Witt C. Farrington, presented the Senate with a large American flag (21 X 12 feet) to fly over the U.S. Capitol. It was reportedly the first flag of American-manufactured bunting to be hoisted over the capitol building. Who knew? Stars and Stripes forever to fly!
On a day that is known for the firework celebrations, carnivals, parades, fairs, picnics, family gatherings and summer-themed events, it is also unofficially known as the great-American barbeque. Hamburgers and hot dogs paired with corn-on-the-cob, coleslaw, watermelon and the all-american apple pie. American Summer style and holiday fare, indeed.
Yes, I was born on the 4th of July! A patriotic birthday, indeed. It is truly a wonderful day to have been born as it is one festive party nationwide. Quite a birthday. And the fireworks? Who would not love a spectacular star-studded, brilliant and showy display of fireworks as one makes a birthday wish amidst its grandeur and dramatic explosions of color?? Imagine my surprise as a child to discover that the fireworks were not just for me!! Oh, to share a birthday with my country! Alas, there have been more flags and sparklers on my birthday cakes than I care to share…but, what a day to have a birthday!
Cheers to an American Birthday celebration across the country: Happy Birthday, America!