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Independence Day
NAVIGATION
Independence Day
Activities
Declaration of Independence
Liberty Speech
Patriot Coloring
Patriot Music 
Patriotic Poems 
Prose / Poetry 
Songs
Support our Troops
Vet Poetry

Independence Day
Table of contents

Folk Music/Salute

Meaning of American
Citizenship

Proper Behavior
During Anthem

True Americanism

Important Quotes

Flag Folding Meaning

Internet Field Trips

Congressman's
Prayer

American Without
Reserve

Museums

Literature

Daniel Webster
at Bunker Hill

Fireworks &
Military Bands

Food & Uncle Sam



If we will not be governed by God,
then we will be ruled by tyrants.
— William Penn

 

Salute to the Armed Forces by John Philip Sousa !

 

Folk Music

Folk Music of the War of Independence Curious?

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THE MEANING OF AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP
Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization


Today you have become a citizen of the United States of America.  You are no longer an Englishman, a Frenchman, an Italian, a Pole.  Neither are you a hyphenated-American — a Polish-American, an Italian-American.  You are no longer a subject of a government.  Henceforth, you are an integral part of this Government — a free man — a Citizen of the United States of America.

This citizenship, which has been solemnly conferred on you, is a thing of the spirit — not of the flesh.  When you took the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, you claimed for yourself the God-given unalienable rights which that sacred document sets forth as the natural right of all men.

You have made sacrifices to reach this desired goal.  We, your fellow citizens, realize this, and the warmth of our welcome to you is increased proportionately.  However, we would tincture it with friendly caution.

As you have learned during these years of preparation, this great honor carries with it the duty to work for and make secure this longed-for and eagerly-sought status.  Government under our Constitution makes American citizenship the highest privilege and at the same time the greatest responsibility of any citizenship in the world.

The important rights that are now yours and the duties and responsibilities attendant thereon are set forth elsewhere in this manual. It is hoped that they will serve as a constant reminder that only by continuing to study and learn about your new country, its ideals, achievements, and goals, and by everlastingly working at your citizenship can you enjoy its fruits and assure their preservation for generations to follow.

May you find in this Nation the fulfillment of your dreams of peace and security, and may America, in turn, never find you wanting in your new and proud role of Citizen of the United States.

[from: Basic Guide to Naturalization and Citizenship, Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice]

 

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True Americanism
Henry Van Dyke


Washington knew that the Boston malster, and the Pennsylvania printer, and the Rhode Island anchor-smith, and the New Jersey preacher, and the New York lawyer, and the men who stood with him were Americans.

He knew it, I say and by what divination?  By a test more searching than any mere peculiarity of manners, dress, or speech; by a touchstone able to divide the gold of essential character from the alloy of superficial characteristics; by a standard which disregarded alike Franklin's fur cap and Putnam's old felt hat, Morgan's leather leggings and Witherspoon's black silk gown and John Adams' lace ruffles, to recognize and approve, beneath these various garbs, the vital sign of America woven into the very souls of the men who belonged to her by a spiritual birthright.

For what is true Americanism, and where does it reside?  Not on the tongue, nor in the clothes, nor among the transient social forms, refined or rude, which mottle the surface of human life.  The log cabin has no monopoly of it, nor is it an immovable fixture of the stately pillared mansion.  Its home is not on the frontier nor in the populous city, not among the trees of the wild forest nor the cultured groves of academe.  its dwelling is in the heart.  It speaks a score of dialects but one language, follows a hundred paths to the same goal, performs a thousand kinds of service in loyalty to the same ideal which is its life.  True Americanism is this:

To believe that the inalienable rights of man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are given by God.

 

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Proper Behavior During the National Anthem

US CODE COLLECTION
Title 36, Subtitle I, Part A, Chapter 3,
Sec. 301. - National anthem

(a) Designation. - The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.

(b) Conduct During Playing. -

During a rendition of the national anthem -

   (1)  when the flag is displayed -

        (A)  all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart;

        (B)  men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and

        (C) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and

   (2)  when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed

 

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The more profoundly we study this wonderful book [the Bible], and the more closely we observe its divine
precepts, the better citizens we will become
and the higher will be our destiny as a nation.
— William McKinley

 

Human reason left to itself can neither preserve
morals nor give duration to a free government.
— Noah Webster

A Signer of the Declaration:  John Witherspoon


There is a tide in the affairs of men, a nick of time.  We perceive it now before us. To hesitate is to consent to our own slavery.

That noble instrument upon your table,that insures immortality to its author, should be subscribed this very morning by every pen in this house.  He that will not respond to its accents, and strain every nerve to carry into effect its provisions, is unworthy of the name of free man.

For my own part, of property, I have some; of reputation, more.  That reputation is staked, that property is pledged on the issue of this contest; and although these grey hairs must soon descend into the sepulcher, I would infinitely rather that they descend thither by the hand of the executioner than desert at this crisis the sacred cause of my country.

 

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Folding the Flag

The following information on Folding the Flag was sent by Russell Maynard of Michigan.  Did you know that government schools stopped teaching this in 1955?  Sad, isn't it!  The flag is folded 13 times to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but there is much more to the flag folding.  Read on ...


The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decaur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."

The 6th fold is for where our hearts lie.  It is with our hearts that, "We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."

The 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers.  For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the fathers, for they, too, have given their sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews' eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians' eyes, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation's motto, "In God We Trust."

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.  There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning. In the future, you'll see flags folded and now you will know why.

Do you know that at military funerals, the 21 gun salute actually stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?

 

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Internet Field Trips

Paul Revere's House
Take a cyber visit and learn about this Huguenot descendant!

The Story of Independence Day and America's Birthday Interesting site

Betsy Ross
Visit her home and learn all about the flag she made

Valley Forge
Visit historic Valley Forge

The Liberty Bell
Take a cyber field trip and learn all about it

Carpenter's Hall
The site of the First Continental Congress, home to Benjamin Franklin's Library Company and the American Philosophical Society. Many interesting historical events occurred at Carpenter's Hall. Learn all about it!

Virtual Marching Tour of the American Revolution
(Actually, the USA had a War of Indepedence and not a revolution!)

A Dixie Fourth
For a different look at the 4th of July

 

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A CONGRESSMAN'S PRAYER
John Quincy Adams
Almighty Father! look in mercy down:
Oh! grant me virtue, to perform my part —
The patriot's fervour, and the statesman's art
In thought, word, deed, preserve me from Thy frown.
Direct me to the paths of bright renown
Guide my frail bark, by truth's unerring chart,
Inspire my soul, and purify my heart;
And with success my stedfast purpose crown.
My country's weal -- be that my polar star —
Justice, Thou Rock of Ages, is Thy law —
And when Thy summons calls me to Thy bar,
Be this my plea, Thy gracious smile to draw —
That all my ways to justice were inclin'd —
And all my aims — the blessing of mankind.

 

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Museums

US Air Force Museum Take a virtual tour of Wright-Patterson AFB Dayton, Ohio, complete with aircraft images, background information and specifications.

Annapolis National Cemetary

Happy Birthday America Offers a variety of things to explore for the 4th of July

 

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AN AMERICAN WITHOUT RESERVE
Daniel Webster
     I was born an American; I live an American; I shall die an American; and I intend to perform the duties incumbent upon me in that character to the end of my career.   I mean to do this with absolute disregard of personal consequences.
     What are the personal consequences?  What is the individual man, with all the good or evil that may betide him, in comparison with the good or evil which may befall a great country, and in the midst of great transactions which concern that country's fate?
     Let the consequences be what they will, I am careless.  No man can suffer too much, and no man can fall too soon, if he suffer, or if he fall, in the defense of the liberties and constitution of his country.

 

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Literature

Pre-Colonial

The Magna Carta (1215) PDF File Worksheet  

War of Independence

Resolutions of the Stamp Act (October 19, 1765) PDF File Worksheet
Fairfax Resolves (18 July 1774) PDF File Worksheet
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death (23 March 1775) by Patrick Henry PDF File Worksheet
Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms
(July 6, 1775) PDF File Worksheet
The Virginia Declaration of Rights (June 12, 1776) PDF File Worksheet
Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) PDF File Worksheet
The Northwest Ordinance (July 13, 1787) PDF File Worksheet
Yankee Doodle Dandy Lyrics
Washington's Farewell Address (17 September 1796 ) PDF File Worksheet


The Articles of Confederation (15 November 1777)
The Paris Peace Treaty (1783)
The Constitution

Bill of Rights Download your own copy of the Bill of Rights scanned from an original print of the historic U.S. document using Adobe Acrobat Reader
The Northwest Ordinance (13 July 1787)

Patriotic Prose / Poetry  Interesting, hard to locate items !
Patriotic Poems  More patriotic poems for your celebrations !
See Veterans Day Poetry  for pieces specifically about the soldier and from the soldier

To educate a man in mind and not in
morals is to educate a menace to society.
— Theodore Roosevelt

 

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More Historic Background

For even more history check out Memorial Day and Flag Day

DANIEL WEBSTER SPEAKS AT BUNKER HILL
Samuel Griswold Goodrich
PDF File Worksheet


The first time I ever saw Mr. Webster was on the 17th of June, 1825, at the laying of the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument.  I shall never forget his appearance as he strode across the open area, encircled by some fifty thousand persons — men and women, waiting for the "Orator of the Day," nor the shout that simultaneously burst forth, as he was recognized, carrying up to the skies the name of "Webster!" "Webster!" "Webster!"

It was one of those lovely days in June, when the sun is bright, the air clear, and the breath of nature so sweet and pure as to fill every bosom with a grateful joy in the mere consciousness of existence.  There were present long files of soldiers in their holiday attire; there were many associations, with their mottoed banners; there were lodges and grand lodges, in white aprons and blue scarfs; there were miles of citizens from the towns and the country round about; there were two hundred gray haired men, remnants of the days of the Revolution.

Mr. Webster was in the very zenith of his fame and of his powers.

There was a grandeur in his form, an intelligence in his deep dark eye, a loftiness in his expansive brow, a significance in his arched lip, altogether beyond those of any other human being I ever saw.  And these, on the occasion to which I allude, had their full expression and interpretation.

When he came to address the few scarred and time worn veterans, some forty in number, who had shared in the bloody scene which all had now gathered to commemorate, he paused a moment, and, as he uttered the words "Venerable men," his voice trembled, and I could see a cloud pass over the sea of faces that turned upon the speaker.

He said:  "Our poor work may perish, but thine shall endure:  this monument may moulder away, the solid ground it rests upon may sink down to the level of the sea; but thy memory shall not fail. Wherever among men a heart shall be found that beats to the transports of patriotism and liberty, its aspirations shall claim kindred with thy spirit!"

I have never seen such an effect, from a single passage.  Lifted as by inspiration, every breast seemed now to expand, every gaze to turn above, every face to beam with a holy yet exulting enthusiasm.  It was the omnipotence of eloquence, which, like the agitated sea, carries a host upon its waves, sinking and swelling with its irresistible undulations.

 

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Fireworks

National Council on Fireworks Safety
Be prepared! Learn about fireworks safety.


American Pyrotechnics Association
Learn pyrotechnic history, glossary of terms, facts and figures, and more!

Military Bands

Army Band
Includes leaders/directors, events

Navy Band
Includes audio clips on Stars & Stripes Forever, This Is My Country, Anchors Away (has choral arrangement), Gershwin Fantasy, Overture, Nutville, Clydascope, Thank You, I Wish, Rocky Top and Sugarland Run all performed by the USN Band and pretty much anything else you would care to know about the USN band. Be sure to check out their links page for more military band music.

Marine Band
Includes history, public events, and you can even listen to the Marine Hymn while singing along with the lyrics that are provided and the history behind the Marine Hymn. Be sure to check out their links page for more military band music.

Airforce Band
Includes audio of the Star-Spangled Banner, US Air Force Blue, and Lord, Guard and Guide the Men Who Fly. Click here to go directly to the audio clips Be sure to check out their links page for more military band music.

U.S. Coast Guard Band
Learn about their history and more plus Coast Guard audio of Semper Paratus and I'M Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter

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Food

Etiquette for Picnics and Parties
(Good Housekeeping) Curious about good manners for the 4th? 

Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam Wants You
Print off the famous graphic of WWII.  Troy is the "Home of Uncle Sam". Uncle Sam or Samuel Wilson was a meat-packer in Troy during the War of 1812 and supplied meat to US soldiers in a nearby federal encampment. The barrels of beef he supplied were labelled US (for United States), but the running joke was that US stood for UncleSam. Since then Uncle Sam has become synonymous with the federal government.

Uncle Sam Encyclopedia.com entry
Includes connection between Uncle Sam and the War of 1812

Uncle Sam's Kid Stuff
Interesting site showing how Uncle Sam has been used in cartoons, toys and more

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Request:  Do you have any special activites (craft, academic, or otherwise) for the 4th of July or Independence Day?
If so, e-mail us your ideas by clicking here
© Beverly Schmitt 1997-2004, all rights reserved
Questions/Comments? E-mail admin@lovetolearnplace.com

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