By Thomas Carns

Fellow Elks,

Welcome to summer and the July iteration of Americanism. This month’s theme is based on the origin and history behind the Fourth of July.

During the American Revolution the original separation of the 13 colonies from Great Britain was on the 2nd of July. However, the declaration of independence would not come until two days later from one of its principal authors Thomas Jefferson. John Adams had prepared a speech stating that the day was to be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. To be celebrated with pomp and circumstance, games, sports and fireworks. An interesting fact to note is that both Jefferson and Adams both died on the same day July 4, 1826. Exactly fifty years to the day after the signing of the declaration.

Throughout history observances of the Fourth of July have varied from: 13 Gun Salutes, speeches, pray-ers, parades and fireworks. In 1870 the Fourth of July was made an unpaid federal holiday for all federal employee’s. It wasn’t until 1938 that Congress changed Independence Day to a Paid federal holiday.

It is customary to mark Independence Day with patriotic displays. Often times the events take place out-doors and many families take advantage of the long weekend to visit with family and friends to celebrate. Patriotic songs are the theme at parades and political rallies with such songs as, “The Star Spangled Ban-ner”, “God Bless America”, America the Beautiful”, and my personal favorite “I am proud to be an American”.

Fireworks are displayed in nearly every major city in the Country and they are awesome sights to behold. If you get a chance take some time to go watch a fireworks display, there are many in our area for your viewing pleasure. I have attached a link on where to go see fireworks:

The first week in July is one of the busiest travel periods in the Nation with many people taking advantage of the extended weekend. No matter where you are in our great Country please celebrate responsibly and always remember our Veterans.


Thomas Carns, PER

Americanism Chair