U.S. has had an amazing history. From the war for independence that seemed impossible to win, to the rise of America to a global power, to selecting the first black president. Nowadays, it seems though our country is experiencing troubling conflict.
News stories every day bring to light obvious visible distress. Yet, we feel extremely fortunate to be American. We have the freedom to fundamentally speak what we want to say, to worship where we decide and to work where we like. As patriotic people, we choose to believe we still live in the best country in the world. Clearly, there are actions we must take to improve.
Here are some little-known facts about our country’s early period and one of our favorite holidays, Independence Day.
- Thomas Jefferson created the initial draft of the Declaration of Independence on his “laptop.” It was literally a piece of wood, smoothed and buffed, and cut to just the right size to fit on his lap.
- John Adams wrote to his wife that we would celebrate the occasion on July 2nd (when the document was submitted, but it wasn’t approved until the July 4th) with parades, bonfires, fireworks, chiming bells, shows and more. So, at the signing of the Declaration, 4th of July 1777, the colonists celebrated despite the fact that they didn’t know if they could actually win the war.
- They printed 200 copies of the Declaration in those early years. But now only 27 are known to exist. Check your great grandparents’ attic and meet me at the Antiques Road Show!
- Ben Franklin wrote to a family member expressing his disappointment in the vote that identified the bald eagle as our national symbol. He thought the eagle had a terrible moral character and the turkey would make a better symbol. If this had been the case would we be eating fish on Thanksgiving Day?
- The Declaration of Independence has been an inspiration for other countries which also desired their own independence. Countries like France, Greece, Poland, and Russia used it as encouragement to follow their parallel path.
- The 4th of July is the most popular day in the U.S. to consume hot dogs. Nearly 155 million hotdogs are consumed that day alone! Does anyone else picture the hotdog eating competition sponsored by Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island? Can you imagine dipping 70 hotdogs in water and chowing down?
- And finally, the tune of the national anthem was originally for an English drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heaven.” (Anacreon was a Greek poet well known for writing songs about wine and love.). Francis Scott Key originally wrote the lyrics to the song in 1814 aboard a ship that was in a battle during the War of 1812.
As you grill your hotdogs this July 4th and explode your fireworks, take a little time to appreciate what came before us to allow us to have the right to celebrate this 4th of July.
We at Flexicrew wish our country always flourishes and celebrates many more years of independence. Wishing you all a very happy, safe and blessed independence day!!
Tell me, what about our past, present, or future inspires you?