Monday, July 2, 2012

The Glorious Fourth

Aah, the Fourth of July! Wouldn't it be fun to go back in time and celebrate Independence Day the old-fashioned way? I say, let's do it!
We'll start our day by heading out to the annual Independence Day parade...


and then we'll grab our picnic hampers and head out to the park for the grand Fourth of July picnic...

                               (the above photo from the Spring 1995 Victorian Homes issue)

afterwards we'll have some homemade ice cream as we listen to the mayor give his speech and then we'll listen to the guest speaker.  Then we'll get in on some fun and games...the sack race, the barrel race, the three-legged race, the wheelbarrow race and/or tug-of-war! There's also a pie eating contest and $5 for anyone who can shinny up a greased pole and grab the flag!
After a full day of fun, it's time for the fireworks. As twilight gives way, showers of sparkling shooting stars, exploding into blackness along with the rockets' red glare as blue bombs burst in air! Isn't that a beautiful sight?



And now, let's talk about this "Uncle Sam" guy, who is he anyway?
I always thought of him as someone who just takes all of our money, like this...


but from reading "Victorian Family Celebrations" by Sarah Ban Breathnach I found out who he really was and here is the story:
After serving as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, Sam Wilson began a meat packing business in Troy, NY. Known for his honesty, common sense, and friendliness, everyone in Troy called him Uncle Sam. When the War of 1812 broke out, Sam Wilson became a sutler, or supplier, of meat to the Army. As the story goes, one day a reporter writing about the war efforts visited the Wilson Butchery. There he noticed that all the barrels of beef were stamped with the initials "U.S". When he inquired as to what the initials stood for, a clerk told him. "Why Uncle Sam, of course."
Very soon the story of the Army's "Uncle Sam" appeared  for the first time in newspaper political cartoons depicted as a young man. In the 1840's, a Victorian performer named Dan Rice made Uncle Sam larger than life by portraying him walking on stilts and giving him a Stars and Stripes costume. But the well known image of Uncle Sam with gray hair and a beard was created by the Victorian cartoonist Thomas Nast, who first drew him in 1869.
Below is a St. Pat's postcard of Uncle Sam.


And a little plant pick of Uncle Sam...


So now, after that little Uncle Sam tutorial *winks* I want to share with you a few verses from the song "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood...


And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.


And I'll gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.


I don't know about you guys but every time I hear that song it brings me to tears. Thank God that that flag still stands for freedom! From my house to yours, may you have a glorious Fourth!

I am joining the following parties...
PINK SATURDAY with Beverly at HOW SWEET THE SOUND
AMAZE ME MONDAY with Cindy at DWELLINGS
A RETURN TO LOVELINESS with Kathy at  A DELIGHTSOME LIFE
WHAT'S IT WEDNESDAY with Patti at IVY AND ELEPHANTS

15 comments:

  1. Lovely post!! I didn't know the "history" of Uncle Sam, so thanks for sharing. I love the picnic photo too!! Beautiful spread...LOVE!

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  2. I'm glad to find your lovely blog on such a historical day, because I shan't forget it! I've found a kindred spirit here. I was going to go back a few post and check things out, and needless to say, the time just flew as you shared so many things that make my heart go pitter patter. New follower here! Happy 4th of July!
    Patti

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  3. Hi Gina, thanks for sharing the history of Uncle Sam. You have some wonderful treasures. I appreciate you stopping by to say hello. Enjoy the 4th.

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  4. So glad you stopped by to introduce yourself, Gina. Love the sweet children leading the parade. Aren't the children so charming in the vintage artwork? Oh, and I see you brought your doll along on the picnic! I've read a few of your older posts too and found them equally delightful!

    I'm following along to read about your future adventures.
    Debra

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  5. What a fine post! It kinda coincides with mine...in a way...
    Anyhow, I enjoyed reading it and checking out the pictures!

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  6. nice post thanks for sharing...looking for to visit more blessings

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  7. Hi Gina,
    You have cost me my whole Saturday morning as I sat here hanging on every word and drooling over each picture! I told you I'd be back, and I started from the very first post to present. I only do that with blogs I REALLY love! Yours is amazing, and we love the same things, ...I'm thrilled!Can't wait for your next post.
    Hugs,
    Patti

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  8. Your July 4th celebration sounds like the perfect way to celebrate!!! Hope you are having a lovely summer!

    Blessings,

    Kim

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  9. Oh how fun! I love reminiscing the old times. The picnic setting is so pretty. I love the Britain Castle plates. I have a set also. Thanks for stopping by...Christine

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  10. You did a wonderful job honoring this special holiday.

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  11. Wonderful story! I don't remember ever hearing it before. Your decorations are festive. I have the same bank! Hurrah for the red, white, and blue!

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  12. Great post! Happy 4th of July!Happy Pink Saturday!

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  13. Oh, my heart beats true for the red, white and blue.....:))

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  14. I've always wondered about Uncle Sam! Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!!!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  15. Yes, it really would. One of my favorite movies depicts what it could have been like - The Human Comedy with Andy Rooney - a heartwarming story about a family during one of the world wars...beautiful post! I am delighted that you shared with A Return to Loveliness,
    Kathy

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