Happy Birthday America!!

This day has forever been associated with favorite customs like fireworks, parades, barbecues, beer, picnics, baseball, outdoor parties, public and private events honoring the nation etc. It is the only holiday that celebrates America!
Patriotic displays are seen everywhere. Houses are decorated with flags and streamers in Red, White and Blue. Even the clothing worn by people on Fourth of July reflects the colors and designs of the Flag.
Personally, I'm in it for the fireworks, the picnic fun, celebrating with friends and family ... hmmm... well, I like it all!

The Magna Carta was written in 1215 in an attempt to convince King John of England to give the people certain rights. It is generally considered to be the begining of Liberty.

At the website, Wilstar.com are links that will take you to America's Historic Documents. These are the pieces of history upon which our nation was founded and all the documents are complete and unabridged.

The historic documents are:

* The Magna Carta
* The Mayflower Compact
* Declaration of Independence
* The Constitution of the United States
* George Washington's Farewell Address
* The Star Spangled Banner (complete lyrics)
* The Gettysburg Address
* The Emancipation Proclamation
* Pledge of Allegiance and Flag-Flying Guidelines

American.edu is a database that was begun in 1995 by James Heintze, Librarian at American University, Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to bring together in one source selected examples of Fourth of July celebrations that have occurred throughout our nation's history from 1776 to the present. The goal is to capture a slice of the American cultural tradition--its pageantry, spectacle, music, and symbol in order to enhance our understanding of the American character and heritage.

The website is awesome and loaded with historical information. It is well worth reading! This is just one excerpt from it:
How the Fourth of July was Designated as an "Official" Holiday The United States observes no national holidays, that is, holidays mandated across all 50 states by the Federal government. The United States Congress and/or President can only legally establish an "official" holiday for its "federal" employees and the District of Columbia. States and municipalities are free to adopt holidays enjoyed by the federal government or to create their own. This can be accomplished in several ways, either through enactment of a law issued by a state legislature or by an executive proclamation, that is, by order from a state governor. As an act of confirmation, it is possible as well that a city may enact an ordinance regarding the celebration of the Fourth of July or any other holiday. As stated in theWorld Almanac (1998, p. 315), however, "in practice, most states observe the federal legal public holiday." The first "official" state celebration of the Fourth as recognized under resolve of a legislature occurred in Massachusetts in 1781. Boston was the first municipality (city/town) to officially designate July Fourth as a holiday, in 1783. Alexander Martin of North Carolina was the first governor to issue a state order (in 1783) for celebrating the independence of the country on the Fourth of July. In 1870 the first federal legislation was passed giving federal employees a "day off" from work, but without pay.

And, while you are stuffing yourself on the picnic feast, watching the fireworks exploding in the night sky, and enjoying the company of friends and family, please say a prayer for our men and women in the military who are serving their country in dangerous territories and cannot be with us to celebrate our Independence.

Grapics are compliments of:

Cybergifs.com and