INDEPENDENCE DAY (USA): FOURTH OF JULY

independence-day-usa

What is the real meaning behind the Fourth of July? Get Independence Day (U.S.) dates, a brief history of this all-important American holiday, and some fun facts.

WHEN IS INDEPENDENCE DAY (U.S.)?

The Fourth of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by delegates from the 13 colonies in 1776.

On July 4th, the United States observes a federal holiday in honor of the Declaration of Independence.If the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday, the federal observed holiday is the following Monday, July 5. If the Fourth of July falls on a Saturday, the observed holiday for most federal employees (but not all) is Friday, July 3.

Year Independence Day (U.S.)
2017 Tuesday, July 4
2018 Wednesday, July 4
2019 Thursday, July 4

CELEBRATING THE FOURTH OF JULY

In the United States, Independence Day is a federal holiday traditionally observed with parades, band concerts, picnic food, and fireworks (just as John Adams had hoped, as you’ll see below).

about-independence-day.jpg

In order to celebrate the Fourth of July with as much patriotism as possible, many Americans like to have picnics or barbecues and are sure to have the American flag waving outside their homes. Take a look at our Fourth of July recipes to have a delicious picnic or barbecue—and for a list of patriotic desserts!

Also, be sure to check the American Flag Guidelines so that you can proudly and properly display your flag.

Though most people use Independence Day to celebrate the U.S. flag, don’t forget that Flag Day, on June 14, is another perfect opportunity to commemorate the adoption of the Stars and Stripes.

WHAT IS INDEPENDENCE DAY?

Independence is declared; it must be maintained.
–Sam Houston, American politician (1793–1863)

The Declaration of Independence is America’s revolutionary Charter of Freedom and the document upon which the nation’s founding principles were established.

The Second Continental Congress actually made its decree for freedom on July 2, 1776, signing the Lee Resolution. Two days later, on July 4, Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, and the alarm for freedom was sounded at Independence Hall with the Liberty Bell. It was on August 4, 1776, after delegates of the Continental Congress had signed the document, that The Declaration of Independence was made official.

John Adams’ famous letter to his wife, Abigail, captures the spirit of the times. Writing on July 3, 1776 from Philadelphia, he said, “Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony ‘that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States might rightfully do…’ This … Day … will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival… . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

TEXT FROM THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

We invite you to read a transcription of the complete text of the Declaration at www.archives.gov.

declaration-of-independence-4th-july.jpg

MORE FOURTH OF JULY HISTORY

July 4, 1776

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence and formed the United States of America.

July 4, 1776

Thomas Jefferson noted in his “Weather Memorandum Book” that the weather was cloudy, the temperature 76ºF.

July 4, 1826

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died.

July 4, 1884

The Statue of Liberty was formally presented to the U.S. by France.

July 4, 1911

It was a hot Fourth of July in New England. All-time state records were set in Nashua, New Hampshire (106°F), and Vernon, Vermont (105°F).

INDEPENDENCE DAY TRIVIA

Why is the name “John Hancock” synonymous with “your signature?”

Hancock’s bold signature on the Declaration of Independence dwarfed the signatures of the other signers. Legend says that Hancock wanted the king of England to see the rebellious signature without having to wear his spectacles!

July-4th-infographic

1. John Hancock was the only member of the Continental Congress to formally sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

2. The Fourth of July was not declared a federal holiday until 1938.

3. The first White House Fourth of July party was held in 1804.

4. Around 150 million hot dogs are consumed on Fourth of July (wonder if this statistic includes the hot dogs consumed during the annual Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest?)

5. Back in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, 2.5 million new people lived in the U.S. Now 240 years later, 311 million people live.

6. The now American-celebrated song, Yankee Doodle, was originally written by officers of the British army to make fun of backwoods Americans.

7. Three United States presidents died on the Fourth of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe.

8. July 4th is also celebrated in the Philippines, because in 1946, the country was recognized as an independent nation.

9. In one year, $600 million is spent on fireworks alone in the U.S.

10. Most of the signers of the Declaration did not formally sign until August 2, 1776.

11. Though it is no treasure map as predicted by Nicholas Cage in “Treasure Hunt 2”, the message “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776″ is written upside down on the back of the Declaration of Independence.

12. More than 14,000 firework displays are put on across the country on Fourth of July!

13. Bristol, Rhode Island is home to the world’s oldest Independence Day celebration. It dates back to 1785!

14. In 1781, the great state of Massachusetts became the first one to declare Independence Day a holiday

15. Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Display is the largest in the United States

Fourth-of-July-Food-Facts-Infographic

FOURTH OF JULY RECIPES:

BERRY TART WITH BLACKBERRY SAGE CREME ANGLAISE

PHOTO CREDIT:

merc67/www.shutterstock.com
TART DOUGH

INGREDIENTS

4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine flour, butter, salt, and sugar in food processor and blend until dough resembles cornmeal. Add just enough ice water to bring the dough together. Gather dough into a ball, flatten to a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill 30 minutes. Press into a 9- or 10-inch tart pan and generously prick the bottom with a fork. Bake at 350 F until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

PASTRY CREAM:

INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 cups light cream
1-1/2 cups milk
4 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups assorted berries (blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries work best), plus extra for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

While tart is baking, prepare pastry cream: Scald cream and milk by placing over medium heat until steam rises. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and cornstarch. Whisk egg mixture quickly into the scalded liquid, then return to heat. Continue whisking until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken. Remove from heat immediately and stir in butter and vanilla. Cool, then spread in cooled, baked tart shell. Arrange assorted berries on top.

CREME ANGLAISE:

INGREDIENTS

2 cups milk
3 tablespoons Blackberry Sage Tea leaves (from The Republic of Tea)
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

While the pastry cream and tart shell are cooling, prepare the Creme Anglaise: In a medium saucepan, heat milk and tea leaves, then remove from heat and let steep, covered, 15 to 30 minutes. In a separate bowl, whip together yolks and sugar on medium speed 4 to 5 minutes, until mixture is pale in color and doubled in volume. While eggs are mixing, reheat milk until steaming, then remove from heat. Whisk egg mixture into milk, stirring constantly. Return mixture to low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula, about 15 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon and has the consistency of thick gravy. Cool by placing saucepan in larger pot filled with ice cubes and cold water. Stir continuously until cooled, 10 to 15 minutes.

To serve, place tart slice on plate. Pour Creme Anglaise over slice and garnish with extra berries.

YIELD:

6 to 8 servings

SOURCE

 

SUPER SUMMER BURGERS

These amazing gourmet burgers will have your mouth watering with delicious toppings, including applewood bacon. This is an upscale burger recipe for a special feast!

PHOTO CREDIT:

Becky Luigart-Stayner
BACON TOPPING

INGREDIENTS

6 slices Applewood smoked bacon

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Preheat grill to medium-high.

Arrange bacon in single layer on baking sheet. Cook in oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until brown and crispy.

RELISH & MAYONNAISE

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons butter
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon chili paste or sambal oelek (near hot sauces in most large supermarkets)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lemon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions

INSTRUCTIONS

For relish: In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
Add apples and onions and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Add chili paste and salt. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

For mayonnaise: Remove zest from lemon and set aside. Juice half of lemon. In a bowl, combine zest and lemon juice. Add mayonnaise and scallions and
stir to combine.

SLIDERS

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Balsamic Glaze
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 teaspoons dark-brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili paste
12 slices sharp white cheddar cheese
12 brioche slider rolls or dinner rolls, split in half
1 cup coarsely chopped red leaf lettuce

INSTRUCTIONS

For sliders: Break beef into clumps by hand and put into a bowl. Add parsley and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together Worcestershire sauce, Balsamic Glaze, melted butter, brown sugar, and chili paste.

Add to beef and gently mix to combine. Form into 12 patties.

Cook on grill for 3 minutes. Turn over, top each with slice of cheddar, and cook for 3 minutes more. Transfer patties to a plate.

Place rolls split side down on grill for 1 minute, or until lightly toasted.

To assemble: Spread mayonnaise on bottom half of each roll. Arrange lettuce on top. Add patty, cheese side up. Halve each bacon slice. Put one half on each patty. Top with relish and remaining roll halves.

 

YIELD:

Makes 12 sliders.

CREDIT:

Veronica Callaghan, Glastonbury, Connecticut

SOURCE

 

 

ANN HERRMANN’S MAPLE BARBECUE RIBS

You may also cook these ribs on a grill. Set it up for moderate indirect heat, set the ribs away from the heat source, and cook, covered, for the times indicated.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
4 pounds pork or beef ribs
1 tablespoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350° (or see above for grill instructions). In a medium-size bowl, blend maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, and ketchup. Add cayenne if you like. Set aside.

Cut ribs into 4- to 5-inch lengths. Sprinkle lightly with salt and roast 1–1-¼ hours. Pour off all fat. Baste with sauce and roast another 30 minutes, basting and turning every 5–6 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Baste one last time and serve.

 

YIELD:

1-1/4 cup or 4 servings

PREPARATION TIME:

15 minutes

START TO FINISH TIME:

2 hours

SOURCE

 

STAR-SPANGLED CHICKEN WITH FIREWORKS SALSA

Star-Spangled Chicken With Fireworks Salsa will be a huge hit for any festive occasion, especially a Fourth of July cookout.  If you have time, marinate the chicken the evening prior.

SALSA:

INGREDIENTS

1 each red, yellow, and green bell pepper
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits, well drained
1-1/2 teaspoon Chipotle chili puree or powder, to taste
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon melted jalapeno jelly, or to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh cilantro leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

Halve peppers, removing stems, seeds, and large ribs. Set aside half of each color. Dice remaining pepper halves and place in a nonreactive bowl with the remaining salsa ingredients. Stir well. Allow salsa to meld at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Cut remaining pepper halves into strips and small star shapes for garnish; dice trimmings and add to salsa.

CHICKEN:

INGREDIENTS

6 boneless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each), skin removed
2 tablespoons apricot jam
2 tablespoons mango chutney
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

Place chicken breasts in a big resealable plastic bag. Whisk remaining ingredients together to make a marinade and pour over chicken. Seal bag and place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Heat barbecue cooker to glowing. Remove chicken from marinade; pour marinade into a small bowl. Spray grill with nonstick vegetable spray and place 4 to 6 inches from medium-hot coals. Put chicken on grill and cook, basting with marinade and turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through. Allow about 6 to 8 minutes per side, until juices are no longer pink.

Place dollops of salsa on each serving plate and put a chicken breast half in the center. Garnish with the pepper stars.

 

YIELD:

6 servings

OCCASIONS

 

STRAWBERRY LEMONADE

This easy Strawberry Lemonade is loaded with fresh ripe strawberries and zesty tart lemon!

PHOTO CREDIT:

Becky Luigart-Stayner

INGREDIENTS

1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups cold sparkling water

INSTRUCTIONS

Put the strawberries into a blender or food processor and purée. Add the sugar to the lemon juice and stir to blend. Add the lemon juice and sparkling water to the pureed berries. Stir or process for a few seconds to blend, then pour into ice-filled glasses.

 

YIELD:

3 servings

PREPARATION METHOD

 

OCCASIONS

SOURCE

 

CRAN-BANANA-BLUEBERRY POPSICLES

 Cool off with colorful berry popsicles! Just four ingredients for real ice pops that taste amazing!

PHOTO CREDIT:

Julia Sudnitskaya/shutterstock

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh blueberries
2 ripe bananas
1-3/4 cups cranberry juice cocktail, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine blueberries, bananas, and ¾ cup cranberry juice in blender; blend 20 seconds. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing with spatula, to remove skins, if desired.

Rinse blender; pour strained liquid back into blender with remaining cranberry juice and sugar. Blend another 20 seconds. Pour into molds; freeze at least 4 hours.

 

YIELD:

about 3-1/2 cups mix (10 2-1/2-ounce pops)

PREPARATION TIME:

10 minutes

START TO FINISH TIME:

4 hours 10 minutes

PREPARATION METHOD

 

SOURCE

 

RED, WHITE, AND BLUE SUNDAE

Enjoy this festive ice cream sundae on 4th of July weekend—or, any day!

PHOTO CREDIT:

S. Perreault

INGREDIENTS

2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
3 pints vanilla ice cream
2 cups blueberry preserves
2 cups cherry preserves
1 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Sift powdered sugar into a medium-size, heavy, nonstick saute pan, and set over medium heat. Cook until sugar begins to dissolve, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring often, until syrup turns a deep golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.

Whisk in whipping cream and water. (Be careful–this mixture will bubble up.) Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until any hard pieces dissolve, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a clean, dry, medium-size bowl, beat heavy cream to soft peaks and set aside.

Place 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream into each of 6 sundae dishes. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of warm caramel sauce over the top. Spoon a few heaping tablespoons of blueberry preserves. Place a second scoop of ice cream on top. Top with more warm caramel sauce and a few heaping tablespoons of cherry preserves. Spoon whipped cream on top, followed by toasted pecans (if using).

 

YIELD:

6 servings

PREPARATION METHOD

 

OCCASIONS

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Article Info
 FOURTH OF JULY: INDEPENDENCE DAY
Article Name
FOURTH OF JULY: INDEPENDENCE DAY
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What is the real meaning behind the Fourth of July? Get Independence Day dates, a brief history of this all-important American holiday, some fun facts, and delicious recipes. God Bless the U.S.A!
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Hernando Connects
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