Ah, 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...
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!