Happy Independence Day!

It is the 4th of July AKA Independence Day in the United States of America – a day to celebrate our freedom, to support our troops and count our blessings. It is a day to show pride for our country and to remember how our Founding Fathers fought for liberty over two centuries ago.

 

The tradition of July 4th dates back to the American Revolution. In June 1776, representatives from the 13 colonies contemplated a resolution that would declare independence from Great Britain.  This was at the height of the battle between the British/Loyalists and the Patriots.  On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of this resolution and just two days later the delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, written mainly by Thomas Jefferson (along with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and other members of Congress).  The Declaration of Independence is a statement announcing that the 13 American colonies now regarded themselves as free and independent states, no longer part if the British Empire. The original document was signed by 56 delegates and the rest is history! From 1776 to present day, the Fourth of July has been celebrated as the birthday of America, the day the nation first announced its independence.

Before the American Revolution, it was customary for colonist to hold annual celebrations for the king’s birthday that included festivities such as bonfires, processions and speechmaking. Upon the Declaration of Independence, some colonists began to celebrate the birth of American independence by holding mock funerals for King George III to symbolize their newfound freedom from the monarchy. Parades, the firing of cannons and public readings of the Declaration of Independence were just a few celebratory activities. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania held the first annual commemoration of independence in 1777, and Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

In 1870, U.S. Congress declared July 4th a federal holiday and in 1941 it became a paid holiday for all federal employees. Since then the celebration has only continued to expand.  The day has become one to spend outdoors amongst family and friends. It has become a major focus of leisure activities. The holiday has also become associated with various patriotic symbols that include:

The American Flag – AKA the Star Spangled Banner, it consists of 13 stripes alternating colors red and white. White symbolizes purity and innocence and red hardiness and valor. In the corner lies a blue rectangle with fifty small white stars (one for each state) and this blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice.

 

 

Bald Eagle – This bird was chosen as the emblem of the U.S.A. in 1782 because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks. It was then believed to only exist on this continent.

 

Fireworks

 

Liberty Bell – Housed in Philadelphia, PA, the Liberty Bell reads:

PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF LEV. XXV. V X. BY ORDER OF THE ASSEMBLY OF THE PROVINCE OF PENSYLVANIA FOR THE STATE HOUSE IN PHILADA

PASS AND STOW

 PHILADA

 MDCCLIII

 

Uncle Sam

 

Popular Independence Day activities include family barbeques, camping trips, visits to amusement parks, concerts, sporting events, festivals and fairs, and of course, watching the local fireworks display. This 4th of July we invite you to stop by Stikii’s Red, White and Shoe event at the Toledo Docks downtown! From noon to midnight, Stikii will be outside hosting various attractions such as live music, a visit from the Stikii Mobile and an extra special skydiving event at 8:30pm – this is an event that will gone down in Stikii history. The event is free to the public so come on down!