Hot dogs on an American flag plate and lemonadeDuring the most active part of COVID-19, we were cut off from our community. We operated in a “bubble.” Slowly I let more non-family members into my bubble, still feeling safe.  As Illinois moved into phase 5, I only wear a mask at school. The community is emerging again and events are taking place. We know now we need our neighbors. We need our community to keep us sane.

This made me think of my memories as a child and the neighborhood where I grew up. The block we lived on backed up to railroad tracks. You knew exactly what time it was by the trains passing. We also had an alley. My block was full of kids of all ages. My older brother had his friends, my older sister ran with her group, and I had my friends. We all rode our bikes up and down the alley. We fished for tadpoles in water runoff ponds.  We had 4th of July, with all the families coming out to the alley to watch us run with sparklers.

My fondest memory of 4th of July on my block was the cook-out all the fathers planned. One neighbor dressed up in a funny dress (we called it a muumuu) and he wore a mop top as his hair. As a kid aged 5 or 6 I thought he was the funniest thing around. He brought out his transistor radio (does anyone know what that is?). We ate hotdogs, drank pop, and danced to the music from the transistor radio. Once it was dark we ran the length of the alley with our sparklers. Not one person said to be careful or don’t burn yourself or don’t poke your eye out. Life seemed simple and so much fun.

Events such as this makes fond memories. I hope you are making some in your community or your neighborhood.

Interesting 4th of July facts every American should know

The history of the 4th of July is incredibly interesting, but there are other interesting 4th of July facts every American should know. Here are six interesting ones to take note of:

  • Some colonists celebrated Independence Day during the summer of 1776 by putting on mock funerals for King George III of England—symbolizing the death of the Crown’s rule on America.
  • The first annual commemoration of Independence Day happened on July 4, 1777, in Philadelphia.
  • John Adams, a Founding Father and the second president of the United States, strongly believed Independence Day should be celebrated on July 2nd. He even refused to attend 4th of July events because he felt so strongly about July 2nd being the correct date.
  • Adams, along with Thomas Jefferson, another Founding Father, both died on July 4th, 1826. James Monroe, another U.S. president, also died on July 4th, but he passed in 1831.
  • Thomas Jefferson was the first president to celebrate Independence Day at the White House in 1801. The celebration featured horse races, parades, food, and drinks—similar to the 4th of July celebrations we see today.
  • Although the 4th of July was celebrated each year since 1776, it didn’t become a federal holiday until 1870. And it didn’t become a paid holiday for federal employees until 1941.

You can really impress your loved ones by breaking out this 4th of July trivia at the barbecue.

Fondly,

Dr. Michele