This is a guest post from jacobspaulsen.com. I thought it might be something my readers would enjoy, so I asked the author for permission to use it on my site.
July 4th is my very favorite holiday of the year. I’m exceedingly grateful for our country and the independence that makes things possible. This year instead of gracing my blog readers with another sentimental oration about our founding fathers I thought I would provide you with my top tens for July 4th.
Top 10 Books to Read About Our Countries Independence
- Washington’s Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History)
- His Excellency: George Washington
- American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation
- John Adams
- Alexander Hamilton
- American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson
- American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic
- Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
- Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation
Top 10 American Things to Do On July 4th
- Eat a Hot Dog (an estimated 150 million will be consumed that day)
- Watch a Baseball Game
- Light off or at least watch some fireworks
- BBQ (74 million Americans will)
- Fly a flag or participate in a flag raising or ceremony
- Sing or listen to a patriotic song (list here)
- Do something to honor a member of our current or past armed forces
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance (the words “under God” were added in 1954)
- Visit national historical sites in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, D.C., etc
- Read the Declaration of Independence
Top 10 Independence Day Facts
- July 2nd was the day that the Continental Congress voted on independence.
- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on Independence day 1826 (50 year anniversary). James Monroe also died on Independence Day 1831.
- 50 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence signed on August 2nd, 1776
- On July 4th 1776 there were about 2.5 million people in the USA. Today we estimate 311.7 million
- The national anthem written in 1812, is actually set to the tune of an old English drinking song.
- John Adams predicted: “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more” Not far off…
- The Bristol Fourth of July Parade in Rhode Island is the oldest continuous Independence Day Celebration (1785)
- The 4th of July is also Rwanda’s Independence Day and the day The Philippines finally gained their independence from America.
- Two of America’s greatest symbols, The Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty, were cast overseas.
- The final major military action of the Civil war was the Siege of Vicksburg which ended on July 4th 1863