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America The Beautiful!

MultipleFlags Dear Friends:

          Independence Day celebrates the birthday of the United States of America and commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Founded July 4th 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. America celebrates its 240th birthday this year (2016). The following brief story sums up the events that led to America’s independence from England.  It was written and published by Ocheyedan Press – Melvin News on June 30, 2004. I think you will enjoy it as well as your own celebration of our nations history. God bless. OM

            “At the time of the signing the US consisted of 13 colonies under the rule of England’s King George III. There was growing unrest in the colonies concerning the taxes that had to be paid to England. This was commonly referred to as “Taxation without Representation” as the colonists did not have any representation in the English Parliament and had no say in what went on. As the unrest grew in the colonies, King George sent extra troops to help control any rebellion. In 1774 the 13 colonies sent delegates to Philadelphia Pennsylvania to form the First Continental Congress. The delegates were unhappy with England, but were not yet ready to declare war. The following May the colonies again sent delegates to the Second Continental Congress. For almost a year the congress tried to work out its differences with England, again without formally declaring war.

            By June 1776 their efforts had become hopeless and a committee was formed to compose a formal declaration of independence. Headed by Thomas Jefferson, the committee included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. Thomas Jefferson was chosen to write the first draft, which was presented to the congress on June 28. After various changes a vote was taken late in the afternoon of July 4th. Of the 13 colonies, nine voted in favor of the Declaration, two-Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted no, Delaware undecided and New York abstained.

            The following day copies of the Declaration were distributed. The first newspaper to print the Declaration was the Pennsylvania Evening Post on July 6, 1776. On July 8th the Declaration had its first public reading in Philadelphia’s Independence Square. Twice that day the Declaration was read to cheering crowds and pealing church bells. Even the bell in Independence Hall was rung. The “Province Bell” would later be renamed “Liberty Bell” after its inscription-Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.

            And although the signing of the Declaration was not completed until August 1776, the 4th of July has been accepted as the official anniversary of United States independence. The first Independence Day celebration took place the following year-July 4 1777. By the early 1800s the traditions of parades, picnics, and fireworks were established as the way to celebrate America’s birthday.”

Happy Birthday, America!

Land of the free because of the brave.flag IwaJima

“The Star Spangled Banner”

by Francis Scott Key

20 September 1814

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,

O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

O say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?



Famous Artist Birthdays

Are You A July Baby? Happy Birthday to All!

Artemisia Gentileschi – Italian – 1593

Rembrandt van Rijn – Dutch – 1606

Camille Pissaro – French – 1830

James Abbott McNeil Whistler- American-1834

Edgar Degas – French – 1834

Edward Hopper – American – 1882

Thomas Eakins – American – 1884

Marc Chagall – Russian – 1887

Frida Kahlo – Mexican – 1907

Andrew Wyeth – American – 1917

David Hockney – British -1937

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