Thursday, June 19, 2008

5 Things You Never Knew About THE FOURTH OF JULY and the Founding of America:

Ready for some historical fireworks? Then you should check out Peter de Bolla's lively and informative new book on our national holiday, The Fourth of July. Did you know:

1) The Fourth of July doesn’t mark the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but Congress’s agreement to print and publish it.

2) John Adams was sure the Second of July, when the Declaration in its accepted form was presented to Congress, would be the day generations of Americans celebrated as the most important day in the history of America.

3)The Liberty Bell was cast three times. The first bell cracked upon being rung, the second had a tinny ring to it. The crack that developed in the third could not be fixed, and it was last rung in 1846.

4) The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 and first read: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” It has been revised and edited ever since. It was officially designated “The Pledge of Allegiance” in 1945.

5)“Uncle Sam” was a real man, Samuel Wilson, who worked as a meat inspector. The initials U.S. on a cask of Army provisions he was inspecting were thought to refer to Sam’s nickname, and from that mistake the tradition of government property being referred to as the property of “Uncle Sam” was born.

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