Monday, May 13, 2013

I is for... Independence Day History Lesson {Blog Every Day in May}

Our final history lesson for the school year was about Independence Day, and highlighted some significant events that have happened in America on July 4th.

The first part of the lesson told us how Katharine Lee Bates was inspired to write "America the Beautiful" while on a trip to Pike's Peak in Colorado. Her poem was first published in the July 4, 1895 issue of a weekly newspaper. For some years, the poem was sung to different tunes, including "Auld Lang Syne". In 1926 a national music club sponsored a contest for people to write music for the poem. Although no winner was chosen, a melody by Samuel Augustus Ward became the most popular choice over time, and that is the tune we use today.

In 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife about the resolution for independence that the Continental Congress had adopted on July 2nd. He expected that July 2nd would be the date celebrated by the new nation for generations to come. As it turned out, he was right about the parades, fireworks, and great ceremony with which Americans would celebrate their independence, but it is July 4th, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed by the delegates, that became our Independence Day.

Some notable events in American history that occurred on July 4th include: 
1801 - the first public Fourth of July reception at the White House, during Jefferson's presidency
1804 - the Corps of Discovery named Independence Creek in honor of the day
1826 - both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died
1827 - New York state emancipated its slaves
1828 - Charles Carroll, the last man living who had signed the Declaration, participated in a ceremony opening the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
1831 - the song "America" was first sun in a Boston celebration of Independence Day
1848 - the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid
1930 - the sculpture of Washington's face was unveiled at Mount Rushmore
1960 - the fifty star American flag waved for the first time
1975 - President and Mrs Ford participated in Independence Day celebrations at Fort McHenry, where the American flag inspired the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner"
1976 - Bicentennial celebrating two hundred years of American freedom
1982 - the space shuttle Columbia landed at Edwards Air Force Base
2004 - the cornerstone for the Freedom Tower was laid in New York, at the site where the World Trade Center had been
2006 - the space shuttle Discovery was launched
2009 - the crown of the Statue of Liberty was re-opened to the public

Americans celebrate patriotism and freedom with parades, music, picnics, fireworks, public recitations of the Declaration of Independence and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Having finished our study of American history, we celebrated on Friday evening by having a Family Night with an Independence Day theme. We had fried chicken and corn on the cob on the dinner menu, and set the table with as much red, white, and blue as we could find.
Kennady baked and decorated an "America the Beautiful" cake.
And we had root beer floats, which seemed to us like a very American treat!

We had other commitments that evening, so we didn't have time to play the American trivia game that Landon and Kennady made for us. 

We're ready for our summer break from most of our schoolwork now, and for all the patriotic holidays coming up - Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day!

Please visit Ben and Me to join in and to see what thoughts this week's letter has prompted for other bloggers.
Blogging Through the Alphabet

This post has been added to the Independence Day Resources Round-up hosted by the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.
Favorite Curriculum Choices

This post was added to the Throwback Thursday Blog-Style link-up hosted by Tots and Me... Growing Up Together! on May 12, 2016.

Tots and Me

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Erica B said...

Awesome post! I love all your ideas. Thanks for putting together a great list.

Lexi said...

Great history lesson - love all the events that happened that day! Thanks for sharing!

Stacie said...

Really loved this history lesson. You have some really interesting ideas to add to your lessons.

Mother of 3 said...

Fun! What a great way to end a history lesson.

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