History of Independence Day!
Have you ever wondered why we celebrate the Fourth of July or how the Fourth of July holiday came about? Many people think we celebrate the Fourth of July because it is the day we received our Independence from England. While those people are thinking along the right track that is not the entire reason that we celebrate the Fourth of July, nor is it the reason that the Fourth of July holiday came about.
Way back in the 18th century, the United States was not considered the United States. In fact, what we now call states were actually called colonies. The United States was actually an extension of England. People traveled from England aboard ships to settle in America, but eventually, differences in life, in thought, and in interests began to develop which caused a rift between Britain and America.
When the colonies were first settled they were allowed to pretty much develop freely without hardly any interface from Britain, but things abruptly changed in 1763. Britain suddenly decided that they needed to take more control over the colonies. Britain decided that the colonies needed to return revenue to the mother country and they needed to pay for the colonies defense, which was being provided by Britain. But the colonies did not agree with these new rules at all. They felt that since they were not represented in Parliament that they shouldn’t have to pay any kinds of taxes to the mother country, hence the saying “no taxation without representation.” When Britain continued to tax, the colonies formed the First Continental Congress to persuade the British government to recognize their rights. When this didn’t work a war was declared, which is known as the American Revolution.
After the First Continental Congress failed to persuade Britain to recognize the colonies’ rights, and war was declared, things began to heat up. Many people who were both considered moderates and radicals had decided that enough was enough and that any kind of taxation without representation was considered tyranny. People such as John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Ben Franklin, as well as a group called the Sons of Liberty decided that it was time to unite all of the colonies and to stand together against Britain.
During the course of the American Revolution, a second Continental Congress was formed. It is this group that adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was drafted by John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. After the first draft was written by Thomas Jefferson, it was revised by Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson before it was sent to Congress for approval. All thirteen colonies stood behind the Declaration of Independence and adopted it in full on July 4, 1776.
This is where the Fourth of July holiday comes in. The Fourth of July is known as Independence Day because that is the day that the Second Continental Congress adopted the full and formal Declaration of Independence. Even though we had declared that we were independent, the American Revolution was still being fought, which meant that we were still not independent. Regardless of the ongoing war the following year, people in Philadelphia celebrated a muted Fourth of July.
While celebrations on July 4th during the American Revolution were modest, after the war ended in 1783 the Fourth of July became a holiday in many places. The celebrations included speeches, military events, parades, and fireworks. To this day the Fourth of July is the most patriotic holiday celebrated in the United States.
Star Marshmallow Pops
- Kraft Square S’more Marshmallows
- Star Cookie Cutter (about 2″ wide)
- Red Sugar Crystals
- Blue Sugar Crystals
- Paper Straws-patriotic colors
Start off by laying out some wax paper to avoid a sticky mess. Grab your cookie cutter and press it into as many marshmallows as you think you’ll want for star pops. Push the paper straws into the middle (sticky part) of the marshmallow stars and set them back down on the wax paper. When you ready to start decorating, put another piece of wax paper on the counter. Press the marshmallow into a cup of water-turning it over to coat both sides with water. Then press the “wet with water” sides into the sugar crystals coating the marshmallow with the sugar crystals. Set the coated marshmallow pops onto the wax paper sheet to dry-it will probably take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then once they have had a chance to dry place them in a mason jar with rice at the bottom to hold them in place looking like a bouquet. Store in an airtight container if you want to keep them for a couple of days.
Red, White, and Blue Frozen Bananas
- Ghirardelli Chocolate melting wafers or chocolate chips: red, white, blue
- Lollipop Sticks
- Red, white, & Blue sprinkles
Peel the bananas and then cut them in half. Place each banana piece on a lollipop stick. Freeze the bananas for at least two hours. Melt the Ghirardelli chocolates in the microwave and then use a spoon to cover the frozen banana with the melted chocolate. If you are going to decorate your red, white and blue frozen bananas with sprinkles, add the sprinkles before the chocolate hardens. If you want to drizzle on the candy melts, place the chocolate covered frozen bananas back in the freezer until the chocolate is completely hardened. For the candy drizzle, place 15 Wilton blue, red and white candy melts in a Ziploc bags. Place the plastic bags in the microwave. We started at 40 seconds increments until the candy melts were fully melted. Once the candy melts are melted, cut the tip off the bag and drizzle the candy over the frozen bananas. Place the decorated red, white and blue frozen bananas back in the freezer until you are ready to serve them.
4th of July Fireworks Decor
- Variety of sticks
- Flat spray paint Red, white & blue
- 3 Mason jars
- A ribbon that is red, white & blue or themed for Independence day
Spread out a bundle of sticks in pile of three. Spray each pile with red, white, and blue paint. Let dry and reapply if you see any missed sections. Take the mason jars and wrap the themed ribbon around the top. Place the sticks in the jar and display as a centerpiece or mantel decoration.
- A stapler
- Craft or needlework needle
- Fun craft punches for making your own confetti
- Hole Puncher
- Toilet paper (to make the rocket shape)
- Colored construction paper
- Red and Blue tissue paper
- Beads (these will not show so it doesn’t matter what they look like)
- Ribbon for the streamers (red, white, & blue)
Cut a small square of tissue paper that will be big enough to cover the bottom of your cardboard tube (about 3” across). Cut a small disc out of a sheet of construction paper that will fit just within the radius of the cardboard tube. With some glue attach this disc to the center of the tissue paper. Let it dry a few minutes. Thread about an arm’s length of string onto your craft needle and tie a bead to the end for a knot. With this, puncture the center of your disc that is attached to the tissue paper. This will be the trap door.
Next, you will need to glue this tissue paper trap door to your cardboard tube with a small line of glue around the bottom of the tube. Make sure you attach it with the bead side inside the tube and the string side hanging outside of your tube. You can add a pull tab to your long dangling fuse or just let it hang. We added stars to some of ours. Let dry. Cover the toilet paper with decorative paper so you don’t know that it is toilet paper. The length is roughly 6.5×4.25. Attaching the ribbons to the bottom inside of the decorative covering will keep it looking more professional. Roll your paper around the tube and staple the top for strength. You can’t staple the bottom because your tissue paper trap door keeps the stapler from getting inside but I found that a couple of pieces of tape did the trick. Now you can fill your tube with confetti. We just put in a few handfuls but feel free to load this sucker up. Just think about how much confetti you want to clean up later. Attaching the cone to the top of your rocket can be a bit tedious. It’s purely aesthetic so if you opt out of this part that’s fine.
Cut a circle about 3.25 inches wide across, then cut one snip all the way to the center of the disc like you see above. Take the edges of your cut and pull them together, probably about a half an inch or more. When your cone has reached a desirable height, staple it at the base. Attaching the cone to your rocket can be a little tricky. The important thing is creating a strong holder that you can use to hang your rocket from. Since these rockets will be tugged upon, you don’t want it to fall apart before it explodes. Putting a weight-bearing string through two holes punched in the top of the rocket body works best.
Then string the two sides of the string through the center bead and up through the center of the cone so that it comes out of the point at the top of the cone. The cone itself can’t really hold the rocket together so taping it wouldn’t work. An easy way to string the cone is to open up the stapled cut from the inside of your cone and pull your string through the gap.
Here’s a Scientific Diagram
I found that I needed to “prime” some of the rockets to ensure maximum explosiveness. You can do this by simply poking some small holes (or cutting with a sharp blade) around the bottom of the trap door. Just make sure you don’t cut it completely out because the ripping sound of that trap door being yanked out is probably the biggest part of the fun.
Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!
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