Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Let Freedom Ring

Firecrackers, cherry bombs, fireworks, and other loud booms and bangs are sounding and sizzling across America.  These familiar sounds are telling us that it's time for parades, picnics, baseball games, and nighttime dogs, beer, brats, and backyards.


  • We use fireworks for fun, but 1,000 years ago the Chinese used fireworks to ward off evil spirits. 
  • The Italians were the first Europeans to use firecrackers as an art form, and even today several of the top U.S. firecracker manufacturers are of Italian descent.
  • Firecrackers are still made by hand.
  • The people who make firecrackers wear all-cotton clothing, even their underwear.  The static electricity from synthetic clothing can ignite firecrackers.
  • Firecracker specialists are known as pyrotechnicians.
  • In many states it's illegal to buy firecrackers, even though licensed public displays are perfectly legal.
  • The word 'patriotism' comes from the Latin 'patria,' which means 'homeland' or 'fatherland.'
  • The origin of Uncle Sam possibly began in 1812, when Samuel Wilson was a meat packer who provided meat for the US Army.  The meat shipments were stamped with the initials, U.S.  Some person joked that the initials stood for 'Uncle Sam.'  This joke eventually led to the idea of Uncle Sam symbolizing the U.S. government.
  • The 4th of July is one of the few federal holidays that has not been moved to the nearest Friday or Monday.
  • Iowa has four towns with 'liberty' in their names:  Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty, and West Liberty.
I'm so very thankful to share that our niece emailed us yesterday that she's on her way home from Afghanistan and will be coming to our house on Sunday.