Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Fourth Of July as an Invented Tradition

As I said in class I did my paper on the Fourth of July as an invented tradition, that has gotten reinvented over time.

Here are some facts I Found:

The Fourth of July was surprisingly not declared a legal holiday until 1941

The First Independence Day celebration took place not on the Fourth but on July 8, 1776 (Fireworks were not present)

Until 1783 the city of Boston, MA commemorated Independence Day on March 5th the date of the Boston Massacre.

Fireworks did not come to the United States until the mid 19th Century, and therefore were not used for the first 100 years of the nations birth.

The "Star-Spangled Banner"- the national anthem of the US- was written by Francis Scott Key and set to the tune of an English Drinking song "To Anacreon in Heaven" by a British composer John Stafford Smith (Defeating the purpose of the national anthem as being different from that of England) and did not get approved by act of Congress until March 3, 1931

"America the beautiful" was not published until July 4, 1895

"The Stars and Stripes forever" was written by John Phillip Sousa in 1897 and now has become a fixture in every fourth of July parade

The American Flag was not sewed by Betsey Ross. This is a myth produced to possibly explain a woman's role in the new Nation or to possibly romanticize the creation of the American Flag as the symbol of America.

Also the American Flag as changed over time to incorporate new states.

In 1942 Congress adopted certain uniform codes for displaying the national flag, hence, how the flag was displayed in 1776 is different from how it is displayed today.


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