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4th of July – Let’s Celebrate!

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Safe 4th of July!  On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation.

A few fun facts:

  • The first signature on the Declaration of Independence was John Hancock’s.
  • Three U.S. presidents actually died on July 4. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe
  • One president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4.
  • In 1870 the Congress made the 4th of July an unpaid holiday for federal employees.
  • In 1941, Congress declared 4th of July a paid federal holiday.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird. Thankfully, he was outvoted by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who chose the bald eagle.
  • Potato salad and potato chips tend to be the most popular food items at 4th of July barbecues.
  • 150 million hot dogs will be consumed. Roughly 1 dog for every two people in the U.S.

I have to admit, this is one of my favorite holidays. I love hot dogs, the fireworks and get togethers with friends and family. We still buy some of the same fireworks we had when I was a kid. You know, the smoke bombs, snakes, roman candles and regular firecrackers. But we’ve added a few new ones to our traditional arsenal as well.

Underwater firecrackers are so cool. They have a longer fuse, so you have more time to get rid of them and they actually pop underwater. The kids love filling coke cans and bottles with water, tossing one of these little suckers in, and then running before the container goes air born. Don’t worry. Overprotective mom here has checked, double checked and even triple checked this little activity. It’s safe. Well, as safe as fireworks can be. There is always adult supervision. I think hubby ends up needing the most supervision though. LOL

We’ve had our fair share of close calls over the years. For example, firecracker falls over in the middle of the street at the last minute and then goes off, sending everyone watching scattering like a bunch of rats.  And then there was the one time we thought a roman candle was a dud, only to find out it was just slow to ignite. Talk about shock! Another run for cover moment.

So celebrate big this 4th  of July, but watch those little loved ones close and the big ones even closer!

Do you have a favorite firecracker from when you were little? Or how about a close call that sent you running and ducking for cover at the time, but makes you laugh now?


8 Responses

  1. I confess, the Fourth of July has become a low-key holiday for us. We haven’t braved the annoying crowds for disappointing fireworks displays for a long time, mostly because my kids aren’t interested. (I know!) We do often have a family barbeque, and we can see the Hersheypark fireworks from my inlaws’ house, so that’s always good. I don’t think we’re doing it this year because with the holiday on a Wednesday, we have work early the next day.

    My husband *does* love to do the legal at-home fireworks, though, so I’m sure we’ll do that. We haven’t had any huge “dud/not dud” moments or anything, but the memory of a firecracker going off in my father’s hand is always uppermost in my mind while we’re setting them off! 🙂

  2. DAD is the biggest mischief maker?? I’m shocked, shocked I say! (laughing)

    As Natalie says, things have gotten kind of low-key in our neighborhood the past couple of years. One family used to put on a major show (the father there actually went to a ‘fireworks school’ to learn how to do it safely), but that stopped when their last child went off to school. Now we get kids popping off a few in the next block (which wouldn’t be bad if they stop around say, 11pm or so), but that’s about it!

    Happy 4th, everyone!

  3. Southern California is tinder this time of year – no street level fireworks.My favorite as a kid? Sparklers! Never forget how tracing it across the sky would leave trails on your eyeballs!

    As I got older? LOVE fireworks to Sousa!

  4. Here there is a large public fireworks display that is shot over the lake for safety. We’ve taken the boat over a few times to watch and have always enjoyed the show. This year, everything is so dry and the fire danger so high, I’m not sure if the show is still on this year.

    As far as cook-outs with friends and family, so big private celebration? No. It never has been a big party/celebration for us.

  5. You would swear our street is on fire July 4th!!! The smoke is so bad, you can’t see across the street. We don’t really pop them anymore, but we have pyromaniac neighbors…but they moved the past year…not sure what it will be like this 4th?

  6. there is soooo much happening with family right now (not bad things, just lots going on) that I doubt we do much of a celebration. being in the middle of the week makes it a little difficult too.

    we’re in a burn ban right now, so I don’t anticipate fireworks. the county usually does a big affair, but I doubt that happens since they’re typically shot over a wooded area 🙂

  7. Our Fourth is a little sadder this year. Our neighborhood patriarch’s birthday was July 4, and his family has always had a huge potluck celebration with a fireworks display that rivaled the one in town. Sadly, John died in January. He will be missed–and the neighborhood will never be quite the same.

  8. Sorry for checking out yesterday. We were the dry state last summer with forest fires flaring up everywhere at this time. My heart goes out to all those dealing with the dry conditions and fires now. So scary. Living in subdivisions outside the city limits can mean one heck of a light show under normal conditions. But last year, it was eerie quiet.

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