When national holidays roll around I always start thinking of our history. Our country's history.
The teacher in me is rearing its head, sorry... I just feel so strongly about knowing history. Here we go, some bits and pieces for you.
"Within the span of a hundred years, in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, a tide of emigration -one of the great folk wanderings of history-swept from Europe to America. This movement, impelled by powerful and diverse motivations, built a nation out of a wilderness and, by its nature, shaped the character and destiny of an uncharted continent."
|The Declaration of Independence|
(1795) by John Trumbull
This is a perfect time for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends to chat with the children a little bit about how our 4th of July celebration came to be celebrated. What is Independence Day? Why do we celebrate Independence day? The young ones know about cookouts, fireworks, and maybe some patriotic songs. But do they know about the story behind Independence Day? Some ideas.
Whether you or your parents are first generation, or whether you and your ancestors have been here for generations, let us celebrate the hard work and struggle of those who labored and gave birth to our country. We mark that birth/ birthday as July 4th each year. 1776-2015.
What I think of is how my ancestors came to this country in the sixteen hundreds and carved a place for themselves and their families out of rough rugged land. I am in awe.
|In the Old Raleigh Tavern, a correspondence committee is at work.|
Hand colored engraing after illustration by Howard Pyle, ca. 1896
"The sole governing authority presiding over the tumultuous events of the American Revolution between 1774 and 1789 was a body known as Congress. With no power to regulate commerce or lay taxes, and with little ability to enforce any of its decisions, this group, representing the thirteen colonies, declared independence, conducted a war that defeated one of the greatest military powers of its day, and invented a new political entity that became a sovereign independent nation. Its members pondered everything from the rightness of independence to the number of flints needed by the armies–sometimes with the enemy not far from their doorstep. Asserting their rights, they found themselves labeled as traitors.
The fifty-four men who composed the First Continental Congress represented different interests, religions, and regions; they held conflicting opinions as to how best to restore their rights. Most did not know each other; some did not like each other. With no history of successful cooperation, they struggled to overcome their differences and, without any way of knowing if the future held success or nooses for them all, they started down a long and perilous road toward independence." source
I think of how my ancestors started living in the colony of Virginia back in the early sixteen hundreds, and how they migrated to what is now Kentucky. In retrospect they did not travel that far, but on foot, horseback, or wagon, I bet it seemed like quite a distance. Back then Kentucky county in Virginia was the far west! There were no roads to speak of in the late seventeen hundreds. Buffalo trails were about it.
One of my ancestors was a surveyor who walked miles and miles plotting out thousands of acres in Kentucky. He was paid in acreage too. Other ancestors were farmers, and such. Anyone who worked the land sure has my respect. Those early years were surely hard ones.
English heritage, and second sons
Many patriots were lost in order to have that independence. I often wondered what my life would have been like if I time traveled back to the mid to late seventeen hundreds. Hard is the word that comes to my mind.
Switching class topics a bit...
Here are a few links that might interest you, including Ben's Guide. It is a child's guide to basic U.S. government. I actually think some older kids, i.e. adults, could benefit from Ben's Guide as a refresher course too. ha!
Current government info is being digitized as it is written, but it will take time for past docs to be digitized and made available online. Great strides are being made in making gov info available to people...so please take advantage when you have the time to browse, or search a topic of your choosing. An educated population is a smart population! (Oh My, that sure sounded like the teacher in me coming out!)
So, while we celebrate our country's independence on the 4th of July let us also be mindful of the fact that we need to stay informed and educated about our government.
To help you, here are some links for you to browse regarding the Federal Depository Library System and the information it makes available to you via the Federal digital System, and the Gov printing office.
So, after you celebrate the 4th find a few minutes to check out your government's information stacks. Be an informed citizen! Your tax dollars at work. :-)
Here is a topic that has been in the news for a few years now. If you want to see the hundreds of pages of text and what the act actually says just click on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act below.
Congress, An Act, Entitled
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act PUBLIC LAW 111–148—MAR. 23, 2010 124 STAT. 119 Public Law 111–148 111th
U.S. Gov Bookstore Items for purchase.
Flag related information Prepare for lots of reading!
Congressional Reports Page You will be amazed.
Hire More Heros Act of 2015
Branch Mania Game...test your knowledge of the branches of government. www.fdsys.gov
Basic search video...how to. Learn how to search the gov publications database of info. Looking for patent info? Looking for info on recent laws? Congressional reports? http://media.gpo.gov/fdsys/basicsearch.html
Also...you might like to look at this post.
Setting a red white and blue table.
Thanks for visiting today!
Sharing this post on...
Common Ground, Share Your Style