Exalted Rulers Message
by Joe MooreHappy 4th of July.
Please remember all those who have given their all for this great country we live in and enjoy. The freedom we have is not free.
Sue and I will be going to Indianapolis Indiana for Grand Lodge Convention on the 4th of this month. There are many seminars to attend and I will be returning with information that will benefit our lodge and members. Best Wishes and have a safe holiday.
Joe Moore - Exalted Ruler
The Birth of American IndependenceThe Fourth of July, or Independence Day, has been a Federal Holiday in the United States since 1941, but did you know that the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution?
When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical. With the growing hostility against Britain and the spread of Thomas Paine's bestselling pamphlet "Common Sense", more colonists had come to favor independence. On June 7th, the Continental Congress met to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain. On July 4th the Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence.
In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the King's birthday. By the summer of 1776 some colonists celebrated the birth of Independence by holding mock funerals for King George III, as a way of symbolizing the end of monarchy's hold on America and the triumph of liberty. Concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. While still at war, Philadelphia held the First Commemoration of Independence Day on July 4, 1777. George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of Independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown. Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official State Holiday.
After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation's emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties - Federalists and Democratic-Republicans, began holding separate Independence Day celebrations in many large cities.
The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a Federal Holiday and in 1941 granted a paid holiday to all federal employees.
Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since become a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks, accompanied by "The Star-Spangled Banner," outdoor barbecues, and the flying of the American flag.
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