To be a citizen of any country means holding both the benefits as well as the responsibilities of being a part of that country. Here in the US we hold these truths to be self evident on today, US Constitution Day. The day was created in 1952 by President Harry S. Truman and it was played around with over the years by Congress but wound back up on the day Truman set it because it falls on US Constitution Day. Good plan to start with, as most things seem to be until Congress gets a chance to mess with them.
How to celebrate – Take time to think about what being a citizen and the US Constitution means. Read the Constitution. Be proud of being an American.
In case you have heard, today is Independence Day! Celebrate it! Go out and set some fireworks off. Have a cook out. Visit a statue. Today was the day the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, all 56 of them representing 13 states, 2.5 million people in 1776. The document was actually finished on July 2nd but it took two days for the government to get together and sign it. Today, it would probably take 50 years to do the same thing, if it could ever get done. So if nothing else, celebrate a time when government did actually do something!
There are several theories of where the idea of Uncle Sam came from but probably the most believable came out of the War of 1812. A gentleman out of Troy, NY regularly served the American army with meat and other sundries and his service was always greeted with enthusiasm by the troops. According to legend, he wore a tall top hat and sported a white beard and hair. He may even have worn the red, white and blue colors to honor the American troops he served. Whether this legend is true or not we do know that someone got the idea of Uncle Same started around 1813. His image was first used in 1961 and the official day came in 1989.
How to celebrate – Dress up like Uncle Sam. Read about the War of 1812. Research the different variations of Uncle Sam.
Today is Flag Day in the United States. It is used to remember what our nation stands for by the symbol it proudly waves. Of course it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Created, we think, by Betsy Ross in June of 1776 and celebrated by Francis Scott Key as it flew over Fort McHenry in the War of 1812 it has become the red, white and blue of our hearts and minds. Many have given their all to keep that flag flying.
How to celebrate – Put your flag up today. Be proud of your country. Learn the proper treatment of the flag.
While this holidays is normally restricted to the New England region it really should be celebrated all across America. It is a bit confusing since it falls on the third Monday of the month so the date varies, but it celebrates when America first separated from England. It celebrates Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride as well as the battles at Lexington and Concord in 1775. The actual day was April 19th but that doesn’t matter. Now Paul Revere never completed his ride, in fact he didn’t really get very far before he was arrested. He also did not shout “The British are coming”! as is often depicted. Back then, most of us were British and that would mean nothing to the homesteads he was warning. “The Redcoats are coming” would have been more like it since the Redcoats were known to be the soldiers. Also the battles at Lexington and Concord weren’t really battles as they were very one sided and did not last very long. However, the Redcoats never forget their attempt to get back to Boston.
How to celebrate – Remember the Patriots that started making the Untied States the United States. Visit New England. Study history, it is relevant.
This holiday is celebrated in both the United States and Switzerland as the changing of the seasons, from Winter into Spring. Now you can’t really burn a Snowman, it’s way to wet. You can melt it, but you don’t need a fire to do that, so it is a symbolic day where no one is actually proposing you burn a snowman. Unless you have had a very long Winter, you probably won’t be able to find, or build, a snowman to burn! It has been suggested that you can explode a snowman instead… but I wouldn’t suggest this.
How to celebrate – Find, or save, a snowman from Winter. Enjoy
the warmer weather. Watch Frosty the Snowman re-runs!
Francis Scott Key wrote the “Defense of Fort McHenry” on
September 14th, 1814 during the Battle of Fort McHenry during the
War of 1812. The battle was heavily favored on the British side and when the
morning came after a long bombardment overnight, the American flag still flew
over the fort. President Herbert Hoover declared the Star Spangled Banner our
National Anthem on March 3rd, 1931 and has served in that capacity
How to celebrate – Sing the Star Spangled Banner today.
Visit Fort McHenry in Maryland. Be proud you are American.
Today is a day to celebrate America’s, or at least the United States, second most favorite pie, the cherry pie! Well, it is my favorite as I like it over apple, the most popular according to the polls. And while apple pie is considered the American pie, I believe cherry pie should be America’s pie.
After all, George Washington featured the cherry tree, which makes the cherry, which makes the cherry pie! Johnny Appleseed came along a long time afterwards! Of course, the cherry blossom is big in Japan so maybe that’s why they chose the apple pie… I don’t know. I think the important thing here is that someone made a study of what pie American’s liked best… like that was really important.
There is nothing like a warm piece of cherry pie with some vanilla ice cream on a cool winter’s evening!
How to celebrate – Have a piece of cherry pie. Find out the truth behind George Washington’s claim to have chopped down a cherry tree. Try a cherry tart!
Today we celebrate the Bill of Rights, an addition to the Constitution that was ratified on March 4th, 1789 with the promise that the Bill of Rights would be added at a later date. Our Founders did not want a government that had no concern for it’s citizens, as was the norm across Europe.
James Madison proposed 19 amendments to the Constitution that gave the public rights not found in other countries at the time. 12 of those 19 were considered. the first 2 were not accepted, concerning the number or representatives and the pay for those representatives. 10, however, were voted on and accepted, making them a part of the United States government.
The process started on September 25, 1789 and added on December 15th, 1789. The first was the freedom of speech, the press and religion. Second came the right to bear arms. Protection of homeowners from quartering troops, unless during war and unreasonable search and seizure became the 3rd and 4th. The 5th is the promise of the process of law and protection against double jeopardy and self-incrimination.
6th was the right to a speedy trial by peers and the rights of the accused. A trial by jury in civil cases, the protection from cruel and unusual punishment with no excessive bail. The protection of rights not specified in the Bill of Rights and that the states maintained their rights over the Central Government followed.
We may take these rights for granted today but they were totally new and untried before the forming of the government of the United States. I sometimes wonder at the brillance of our Founding Fathers. The Bill of rights has had numerous amendments since 1789 but the fact that they provided for such changes is amazing.
How to celebrate – Enjoy your rights and protect them. Study the United States foundations. Read about the additional amendments that have been added.
We don’t owe much to our Veterans… we owe them everything. We owe them our country, our freedom and our lives. So do many other countries. Today we honor their service to us and those that gave their lives so that we didn’t have to.
Veteran’s Day started out as Armistice Day, the Day both the United Kingdom and United States buried the Unknown Soldier on November 11th at 11:11 AM in 1921. Since then there have been more Unknown Soldiers than any of us would care to acknowledge but we should, they died for us. In 1954 President Eisenhower changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day, honoring both those who died in service and those still living.
War has existed since man learned how to walk, evil has driven the power hungry beyond the point of reason, greed has driven the sane insane. The only thing that keeps the world from blowing up is the men and women who actually blow things up.
But they also heal, build and comfort those in need. We should always honor our Veterans because they have always honored us. They do not ask you to do all the things they do, they just get the job done when no one else can.
How to celebrate – Thank a Veteran for the service they have given. Visit the Arlington Cemetery. Attend a Veterans Day ceremony.