Does this year seem to be flying by to you too? This coming Monday is the 4th of July. Happy Independence Day!
In honor of our great country and her history I have put together some Independence Day fun facts, history and trivia.
On July the 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress. Thereafter, the 13 colonies embarked on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. This most American of holidays is traditionally celebrated with parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country. As you head out to enjoy your holiday celebration, take a minute to think about how much you really know about what we are celebrating.
4th of July History & Trivia –
- The major objection to being ruled by Britain was taxation without representation. The colonists had no say in the decisions of English Parliament.
- In May, 1776, after nearly a year of trying to resolve their differences with England, the colonies sent delegates to the Second Continental Congress. Finally, in June, admitting that their efforts were hopeless; a committee was formed to compose the formal Declaration of Independence. Headed by Thomas Jefferson, the committee also included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. On June 28, 1776, Thomas Jefferson presented the first draft of the declaration to Congress.
- Betsy Ross, according to legend, sewed the first American flag in May or June 1776, as commissioned by the Congressional Committee.
- Independence Day was first celebrated in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776.
- The Liberty Bell sounded from the tower of Independence Hall on July 8, 1776, summoning citizens to gather for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon.
- June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress, looking to promote national pride and unity, adopted the national flag. “Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
- The word ‘patriotism’ comes from the Latin patria, which means ‘homeland’ or ‘fatherland.’
- The first public Fourth of July event at the White House occurred in 1804.
- Before cars ruled the roadway, the Fourth of July was traditionally the most miserable day of the year for horses, tormented by all the noise and by the boys and girls who threw firecrackers at them.
- The first Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi occurred at Independence Creek and was celebrated by Lewis and Clark in 1805.
- On June 24, 1826, Thomas Jefferson sent a letter to Roger C. Weightman, declining an invitation to come to Washington, D.C., to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. It was the last letter that Jefferson, who was gravely ill, ever wrote.
- The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence did not sign at the same time, nor did they sign on July 4, 1776. The official event occurred on August 2, 1776, when 50 men signed it.
- Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on Independence Day, July 4, 1826.
- Thomas McKean was the last to sign in January, 1777.
- The origin of Uncle Sam probably began in 1812, when Samuel Wilson was a meat packer who provided meat to the US Army. The meat shipments were stamped with the initials, U.S. Someone joked that the initials stood for “Uncle Sam”. This joke eventually led to the idea of Uncle Sam symbolizing the United States government.
- In 1941, Congress declared the 4th of July a federal legal holiday. It is one of the few federal holidays that have not been moved to the nearest Friday or Monday.
- As leaders in the revolutionary cause, New Hampshire delegates received the honor of being the first to vote for the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Be safe if traveling! Enjoy the holiday!
GROWING UP GRANITE
We want to take YOU & the KIDS Out to the Ball Game!
Be our guest at the NH Fisher Cats vs. Binghamton Mets game on Sunday afternoon, July 10th.
We’ve got our hands on a limited number of tickets to this game and we’re giving them away for FREE!
All you have to do is SHARE our Every Child Matters NH FaceBook post or COMMENT on our FaceBook page as to why access to affordable, quality childcare is important will get FREE tickets to the game! * A limited quantity of free tickets are available.
The best part is that any kids who come to the game with an Every Child Matters ticket will be invited to go onto the field with the Fisher Cats and Fungo and Friends before the National Anthem for a fun high-five tunnel. PLUS we’ll draw the name of one lucky kiddo who will be able to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the start of the game!
We’ve also got great gifts for the kids and an AWESOME Raffle Prize which will include all the tools you need for an awesome Family Game Night at home.
See YOU at the Ball Park!
An editorial from Foster’s Daily Democrat:
The recent Kids Count Data Book showed declines in how children are faring in New Hampshire and Maine and point to areas of concern on which the public and policy-makers need to focus some attention.
The bad news is New Hampshire and Maine have declined in the state ranking of child well-being in an annual national study by Kids Count. The good news is both states remain in enviable spots compared to the rest of the country.
This annual survey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation is one of the best measures of how young Americans are doing, and its Kids Count Data Book should serve as a useful guide for focusing public policy.
So how are we doing?
The report looks at the overall picture, then breaks it down into four core areas.
- Overall, our kids’ well-being put NH at No. 4 among states. It had been No. 2 for 10 years, so this bears watching. Maine was No. 17; it had been No. 12.
- Economic well-being ranked No. 7 for NH, while Maine was No. 23.
- Education ranked No. 4 for NH this year, No. 15 for Maine.
- Health ranked No. 25 for NH, Maine was No. 20.
- Family and Community ranked NH No. 1, while Maine ranked No. 9.
Despite the view that the area has recovered from the Great Recession, there still are an estimated 34,000 New Hampshire kids living in poverty, according to the report. This is 4 percent more than in 2008.
New Hampshire State Sen. David Watters noted in a recent news article that 36 percent of schoolkids in Strafford County qualify for reduced or free lunches due to their families’ low incomes. It is not a good thing when more than a third of the families here are considered in need of aid.
In Maine, an estimated 19 percent of kids live in poverty. This drops to 14 percent in neighboring York County, one of Maine’s most affluent areas.
Amy Bourgault, state director of the NH Kids Count division, said one of the top concerns is children’s access to nutritional food. Good nutrition sets students up for success and is the reason why ensuring they get good lunches is so important.
Nutritional issues play a part in the NH overall score decline, as the state Health ranking dropped from 17th to 25th place. Bourgault noted they are looking at the root causes of this.
A major takeaway from the report is the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
As it noted; “More than two decades of research make it clear that growing up in a low-income family can have profound effects on children … poverty can impede their cognitive, social and emotional development and contribute to poor health.”
This begins a downward spiral that has implications and costs for all of us as in more high school dropouts, more teen pregnancies, less income potential and poor health.
The report noted that better socioeconomic status gives huge advantages to kids from those families.
“Advantages that start at birth continue to accumulate as kids grow up. By the time children enter kindergarten, the children of higher-income, college-educated parents already have an enormous head start,” said the report.
All is not lost for those growing up disadvantaged, however. The report notes that kids are resilient and can improve their future prospects. But the odds are stacked against them, which is why government programs such as health care, food aid and early education are so important.
Dover’s Sen. Watters is a big proponent of improving pre-kindergarten programs and notes that New Hampshire is one of only seven states that don’t provide pre-school for kids. He is right on in this regard, if we want to remain among the best states to raise healthy children.
For those interested in reading more about the report’s finding, go to