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Independence Day: The Fourth of July

Jul 02, 2016

July Fourth is the perfect time to let your patriotism shine. Read on to find out how the United States of America came to be the country it is today.

History Behind the Holiday

In the beginning of U.S.'s history, 13 colonies were ruled by the King of England, King George III. These colonies were tired of having a king 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Two acts of defiance made history. Tea was purposely dumped into the Massachusetts Bay (this event, known as the Boston Tea Party, was a reaction by the people to England raising their taxes) and, in Boston harbor, British soldiers fired into a crowd after being jeered and stoned. The number of people killed was exaggerated (only a few people died), but the event became known as the Massacre.

Independence DayHappy Fourth of July!

The Big Vote

Virginia took the first step and voted to set up a group to represent the colonies. The first meeting was in 1774 and a draft of a document that would give them freedom from England was written. This document, called the Declaration of Independence, was considered treason and the 56 men who signed it were in some serious danger of being executed. But, they stood by what they believed in - the right to independence.

The First Fourth of July

Things didn't happen overnight. It took years for the final draft of the Declaration to be written. At the same time, the American Revolution was taking place. The draft was finally accepted on July 4, 1776. Over the next month, the document was read to the public and people celebrated whenever they heard it. In 1783 the war finally ended and Independence Day was made an official holiday.

Celebrations

Every July 4th Americans have a day off work and stuff themselves full of food at picnics. There are activities in the afternoon including baseball games, music and more food. Some cities have parades. Then, at dusk, people watch fireworks displays. This is one birthday celebration you don't want to miss.

Fireworks are a huge part of July 4th CelebrationsFireworks are a huge part of July 4th Celebrations

Quirky U.S. Fun Facts!

  • There are more plastic pink flamingos in the U.S. than real ones.
  • According to NASA, the U.S. has the world's most violent weather. In an average year, the U.S. can expect about 10,000 really bad thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,000 tornadoes, and several hurricanes.
  • The most popular fruit in the States is the banana. The average person eats 33 pounds of bananas every year.
  • The Liberty Bell wasn't made in the U.S. and wasn't rung on the first Independence Day. It was actually made in London in 1752, cracked in 1835 and wasn't named Liberty until the 1830s, in memory of slaves pursuing their freedom.

Have Your Say

How do you celebrate July 4? Let us know!

 

197 Comments

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Fireworks-poll

Coolest Thing About the Fourth of July?

  • Fireworks.
  • Picnics at the park.
  • BBQs with my family.
  • All the cool parades.

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AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
"Boysrock50" wrote:Is the wall going to replace current fencing? Yes. Much of the current fencing on the border is used to the advantage of illegal immigrants, as they climb it to scan the area for border patrol. The fencing has also cost us way too much to create and maintain. It's quite the damp squib, I must say.  "Boysrock50" wrote:There may be major breaches whilst the wall is under construction. That's true. However, there already are major breaches in the current border, and border patrol will be around the areas in which the wall is being built (for the workers' protection), so I doubt that people will take advantage of the project. "Boysrock50" wrote:Will Trump have permission to build on every inch of land the wall is to be placed upon? Yes. The wall will be built on U.S. territory, and all properties in the way of the wall will be seized by eminent domain. This means that the government will take your property, but will compensate you accordingly. Eminent domain is used if, say, a city needs a new lane in a traffic-filled road, or if one homeowner refuses to sell their land when everything around them is commercially owned. Now, eminent domain has been abused in the past, but it would be entirely legal to use eminent domain for the wall. "Boysrock50" wrote:How do you expect Mexico to pay for it when they outright refused? Trade tariffs on all imported goods to The United States from Mexico. We have a trade deficit of 550 billion with Mexico, which means that we lose that much money every single year by trading with them freely. The wall will cost around 10 billion dollars, a small fraction of how much we lose every year with Mexico. Mexico will not lose that 550 billion when they could just pay us 10 billion, so imposing these tariffs will make them pay for the wall. And,  on the off chance that they don't pay, then we'll just use the money that we gain from the tariffs to build it.   "Boysrock50" wrote:The geography alone will not make it easy to build completely along the border. We're not building completely along the border, specifically for the reason of geography. There are many places where people cannot get over, and we call these "natural borders". These are places where no wall is needed to stop people from crossing, and about half of the entire Mexican-U.S. border is bordered naturally. This is because decisive geographical points were originally signified as true borders when we fought with Mexico over territory.  "Boysrock50" wrote:Do you not think the alienating Mexico will create a larger social divide between the two countries? Not really. A wall doesn't alienate Mexico, anymore than the walls of your house alienates your neighbor.  "Boysrock50" wrote:Finally, the engineering alone behind the wall is so implausible, I don't think Trump himself realises just how difficult it will be. Trump has made billions of dollars by building awesome structures. He built the second tallest building in Chicago (second to Sears tower, the tallest building in the country) and has created some of the tallest buildings in the world. His work has changed the way that our biggest cities look, and many have become business hubs and social icons. He knows the greatest builders on the planet. If anyone can build the wall, it's Donald Trump.   "Boysrock50" wrote:"He has many Muslim friends" - Oh dear, the classic anti-racist comment. 'I'm not racist because I'm friends with blacks'. Well, it is quite convincing, as these are actual friendships. He trusts Muslims and people of other religions/races with his company name, as he has paid thousands of them to work on his projects. Doesn't seem like a bad guy, to be honest.  "Boysrock50" wrote:His current proposal is just as absurd as his original proposal. He wants to ban Muslims coming from countries with a terrorist past? (or has he changed his proposal yet again?). Let's see, that consists of almost every country in the world if you want to go back far enough. How far in the past does he want to look? His current proposal is to ban immigration from countries which have been compromised by terrorism. Obviously the goal of this immigration reform, which is to stop terrorist immigration, rules out countries which have had terrorist outbreaks hundreds of years in the past, but are now stable.  "Boysrock50" wrote:He also mentioned that he wants to suspend immigration of the same people trying to enter countries with US alliance. What, does he plan on flying over and stopping Iraqis from entering the UK? That should be entertaining. I haven't heard of this statement before. Could you tell me where he said it, perhaps name the interviewer and the date the statement was made? "Boysrock50" wrote:This ban though... yes, you're preventing 'Muslim terrorists' from entering the US but you're also preventing 1.5 billion other Muslims from entering. That totally seems fair. Why don't you ban holiday makers from entering the US too, because 1 decided to commit murder in the past? You'll probably get a similar attacker-innocent ratio. I'm not sure what a holiday make is, but the Muslim ban has nothing to do with the ratio of radical Muslims to typical Muslims. It has to do with the ratio between terrorists and Islam. The majority of all terrorists are indeed Muslim, and thus a ban on Muslim immigration would effectively sever the majority of terrorist immigration as well.  "Boysrock50" wrote:Can we stop with the whole idea that being able to run a business means you can run a country? No one should be elected for business success, just like no one should be elected for political success. It is just one feature of Donald Trump which gives him skills that most others do not have. The skills which he has tempered and applied in his forty years of business shows that he can be a great leader, that he can oversee and plan successful projects, that he has the tools required to fix the economy, and that he has achieved The American Dream. Trump's immense wealth and buisness talent is not what would make him a good President, but it is evidence that he possesses some of the skills that a good President should have.  "Boysrock50" wrote:If that were true the UK would have had Sir Alan Sugar in power years ago. He's not even an economist. He probably doesn't even know what a Current Account is. The government isn't a business. Are you saying that economists make good Presidents? (;  Lord Sugar doesn't represent the views of the people. Donald Trump does represent the views of many Americans. That's quite a big difference, which is why Sugar isn't a candidate for...um...whatever the UK has candidates for.  "Boysrock50" wrote:The US has a free market economy, not a command economy. Trump isn't going to be a salesman, he's going to be a Prime Minister. It's vital he knows his politics. He may have ideas that people love but he has no idea how to run a country.  He's going to be a President, and part of being a president is to make trade agreements with other countries. Trump's plans for international trade would boost the economy, and his experience in business gives him insight into the jobs which we need to invest in. Also, the people that he surrounds himself with are seasoned lawmakers, and these advisers will work with him to make sure that his decisions create a better America.  "Boysrock50" wrote:I really worry for America's future economy if their idea of a 'successful' businessman is someone who ends up piling on so much debt that his businesses reach bankruptcy. There are countless businessmen more successful than Trump that 90% of people haven't ever heard of. Trump loves to big himself up and so do his supporters. You're making the man sound far greater than he actually is and it's possibly going to cost you the future of your country. No one has a perfect business record. With Donald Trump, four of his business ventures have been failures. They were all casinos, in a struggling area, where Trump thought he could turn into a success. So what did he do? He invested money that he did not have into building four casinos and resorts into masterpieces, thinking that business would start booming and he could pay back the debt it took to build the properties in the first place. Well, it didn't pan out, and so he had to put his businesses into chapter...also known as filing bankruptcy.  The thing to note is, though, is that Trump has over 700 businesses. He is the head of an international real estate conglomerate. He is worth billions of dollars. You cannot be successful and yet also be bankrupt, which is why Trump is so successful in the first place. Although four of his business ventures failed, the remaining 696 succeeded, giving him a 99% success rate. Forget the top 1%, Trump's 99% is where it's at. 
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