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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

The 4th of July is my kind of holiday since I love history and fireworks!

In the Rotunda of the U. S. Capitol Building are a series of paintings of the history of the United States of America.

This one, by John Trumbull, is the representation of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1976. The 5 gentlemen standing in the middle, presenting the draft document to Congress, are John Adams (MA), Roger Sherman (CT), Robert Livingston (NY), Thomas Jefferson (VA), and Benjamin Franklin (PA).

Roger Sherman is important to my family because he is an ancestor of my children through their father's Buck family line. "He [Roger Sherman] was the only member of the Continental Congress who signed the Declaration of 1774, the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Articles of Confederation (1781), and the Federal Constitution(1788)." "[He] was also a prime mover behind the Connecticut, or Great Compromise, which broke the deadlock between the large and small states over representation. "This is why we have both a House of Representatives, which chooses the number of congressmen based on a states' population; and a Senate, which allows each state to have 2 senators.

I find that it helps me interest the youngsters of the family in history, when I tell them about their distinguished ancestor. It seems to help them to relate to what could look like a bunch of boring dates and actions. What a shame that something as exciting and vital as our own history often seems to be taught in such a boring way. It must take a lot of work to turn excitement into boredom. But then, I adore history and spend a lot of time reading and researching it. I hope some of it wears off on the kids.

Hope you enjoy the fireworks as much as I will. We don't set off our own any more, because of the fire danger in our dry climate, but we plan to watch the public display set off on top of Skyline Drive in Canon City.


Rian said...

Good to get the youngsters interested in history. I think most kids could not care less, not until they get older anyway. I love history and fireworks too, but we don't see them up where we are.

Sande said...

After the family party we watched Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney - an old favorite. I enjoy all the patriotic medleys in the movie, plus the story of George Cohen.
Happy 4th to you, a few days late.