4th of July Preparations

Friday, July 2, 2010

(1) Buy and install new American flag - check (see above)
(2) Find kids' noise-reduction headphones for fireworks show - check
(3) Plan red, white, and blue outfits - check
(4) Explain what we are celebrating. . .

Last week, my three year old asked me, "Mama, what is the 4th of July?"

"America's birthday!" I answered. I started to say something about the Declaration of Independence, but then I couldn't be sure. . . was it signed that day? Written that day? Announced? Delivered? Hmm.

How embarrassing.

I got online and did some research. I re-learned that on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, which announced our separation from Great Britain. That's why we call it "America's birthday." Yes, yes, of course. I totally knew that.

I continued clicking and found this site by The National Archives. "The Charters of Freedom" walks you through the documents that define America: The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It felt good to peruse that site. I reconnected with my inner history-nerd and read the entire Declaration of Independence. You should, too. It's not long, and it is feisty.

When the time is right, I'm going to revisit my "America's birthday" answer with Big Guy. Maybe give him just a little more info, now that I can. And then I will happily check (4) off my list.

Hope that you have a patriotic and wonderful 4th of July weekend!

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One Response to “4th of July Preparations”

  1. Reading this bit about explaining the 4th to Hugh and the research of the history of the 4th makes me so proud. I find it interesting that John Adams thought that America would adopt July 2nd and not the 4th as our big time holiday. Makes me want to celebrate the 2nd (the day independence was declared) as well!