Thursday, July 2, 2020

Celebrating National Birthdays

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The first few days of July are opportunities to celebrate some momentous occasions. Canada and the United States both mark their "birthdays" and we have a family birthday to celebrate as well. As we head into the weekend - a long weekend for many - let's take a look at these national birthdays.

Canada Day is first on the calendar, falling on July 1st, and being Canadian myself, that's where I'll start! 

On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act united the three British Empire colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada (which was the territory now forming the two provinces of Ontario and Quebec). This Act of Parliament was known as the Constitution Act, and although Canada remained part of the British  Commonwealth, it did grant substantial freedom from England, with some limited political control from the British Parliament. At that time, Canadians generally still thought of themselves as British citizens, but the Dominion of Canada had become a kingdom in its own right. This date became known as Dominion Day, and was first officially celebrated in 1917, on the nation's 50th birthday. In 1967, the centennial was widely celebrated throughout Canada.  On July 1, 1982, Canada received full and complete independence from Great Britain, and Dominion Day became officially known as Canada Day.

The national anthem, O Canada, was established on July 1, 1980.

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
For more, including some recipes for a few favorite Canadian foods, see my posts:

Canada Day 2019 on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Canada Day Butter Tarts on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Recipes from Around the World (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Flag Day 2018 on Homeschool Coffee Break @

That brings us to the Fourth of July, which is celebrated as Independence Day in the United States.

On July 4th, 1776, the delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia signed the Declaration of Independence. The vote was actually held two days earlier, on July 2nd, but the declaration didn't actually happen until the 4th. 

From the High School Lesson Book - Independence Day on Homeschool Coffee Break @
Proclaim LIBERTY throughout the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof.

During the American Revolution, the thirteen colonies sent delegates to the Continental Congress, and they voted to legally separate from Great Britain on July 2nd. The resolution of independence that they adopted with this vote had been prepared in June, by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson and other members of a Committee of Five authored the Declaration of Independence, a statement that explained the decision, and it was debated and revised before being approved by the Continental Congress on July 4th.

Independence Day is a national holiday, usually marked by parades, fireworks, and family gatherings and cookouts. This year there will be a lot less in the way of fireworks and large parties, but hopefully people will still celebrate that important step towards freedom and representation. We still have work to do, but over these nearly two hundred and fifty years we've made great progress and that should be celebrated even as we continue to press on.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
For more, see my posts:

From the High School Lesson Book - Independence Day on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Flag Day 2018 on Homeschool Coffee Break @

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