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I want to wish our great country a very Happy Birthday!!! On this day in 1776, our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence, which declared America separate and independent from England.

smheart As Americans we celebrate our independence in many ways - with fireworks displays, cook-outs and picnics, parades and memorial ceremonies. One of the largest displays is the National Independence Day Parade held in our nation's capitol, Washington, DC.


smheart Our flag, the tri-colored red, white and blue, has gone through many incarnations as our country has grown from its infancy and the Flag Timeline shows some that many people have never seen as well as ceremonial and special flags.  The first national flag consisted of 13 stripes alternating red and white with a union of 13 white stars in a field of blue. This honored the 13 original colonies which were the United States of America at the time.  Betsy Ross is said to be the creator of the first national flag in 1776.  However there are disputes to that legend!  Read more about the Betsy Ross Flag

Today our flag still boasts the 13 red and white stripes, but the field of blue now contains 50 white stars. No one star is meant to signify one particular state.  However there have been 27 incarnations of the US flag since 1775

flags Many think the colors of our flag stand for the blood shed to protect it, valor and purity. Not quite!! According to the State Department ~

RED ~ is for hardiness and courage.

WHITE ~ is for purity and innocence.

BLUE ~ stands for vigilance, perseverance and justice.


smheartOur forefathers drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence, which explained the reasons for the separation from England and the formation of a separate government. This document, along with the U.S. Constitution, form the basis of our government.



smheartThe Liberty Bell is one of the symbols of our history of freedom and liberty. You can find the bell at the Liberty Pavilion in Philadelphia - and view the famous crack, which happened the first time the bell was rung. The crack was repaired, but cracked a second time when it was rung again! It's not been rung since 1846. Written on the bell are the following words, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."


smheartThe bald eagle was adopted as our national bird in 1787. eagleThe bird itself is on the endangered list, but is plentiful on our currency and other items. Often the eagle carries an olive branch with one foot and a sheaf of arrows with the other. On a coat of arms the eagle has a scroll which says 'E Pluribus Unum' in its beak. The eagle is also found on coins. However the eagle nearly didn't become our national bird. Benjamin Franklin was lobbying for the turkey!

smheartstatuelib One or the 'newer' symbols of America is the Statue of Liberty. She adorns the entrance to New York Harbor on Liberty Island and is the first sight to be seen by visitors coming here by boat. Lady Liberty was given to the United States as a symbol of friendship and of the liberty enjoyed by all citizens by France.

Made of copper, the statue recently underwent a makeover to restore Lady Liberty to her glory. She holds a torch in the air in one hand and the Declaration of Independence in the other. At her feet, a broken shackle to represent the overthrow of tyranny.

Here are some places to visit for a bit of holiday fun!

July 4th Quiz - Test your knowledge

The US Flag through the Years

What the Presidents were doing on the 4th of July!

Fireworks on the National Mall in Washington

July 4th Celebration in Boston with the Boston Pops

A Capital 4th (PBS)

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Many men and women have fought through the centuries to preserve the freedoms that are, in many ways, unique to this country. For those brave men and women, living and past, we thank you for your service and honor you. Please visit my In Their Honor and Enduring Freedeom pages.


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Granny J's Gifs Galore


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