America’s national holiday, the Fourth of July or Independence Day, is observed as a federal holiday (since 1941). The tradition of Independence Day goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775 – 1783)…America’s struggle to gain independence from Great Britain.
In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies created a document in the Continental Congress declaring their independence on July 2, drafted by Thomas Jefferson. Two days later, delegates adopted this document as the Declaration of Independence. Since 1776, July 4th has been observed as the beginning of America’s independence.
When the Revolutionary War began April 1775, few colonists wanted complete independence from Great Britain. Colonists who did desire breaking away from King George III rule were considered “radical.” By the middle of 1776, sentiment had dramatically turned with most colonists favoring independence. Thomas Paine’s bestselling publication, “Common Sense,” published early in 1776, portrayed much of the national sentiment leading to the Declaration.
With the independence of America in the late 17th century, patriotic celebrations became widespread after the War of 1812, where the United States once again faced Great Britain. In 1870, Congress made July 4th a national holiday.
How American’s Celebrate Independence Day
In the pre-Revolutionary War days, colonists held annual celebrations honoring King George III birthday. Starting in the summer of 1776, some colonists held mock funerals for King George III…symbolizing the end of the King’s rule of America and the triumph of a new country’s independence. The most iconic symbol of July 4 is the American flag, accompanied by “The Star-Spangled Banner” …the national anthem of the United States.
“Freedom isn’t free.” This famous quote typifies what July 4 (Independence Day) means to patriotic Americans. Enjoy the day and remember our ancestors’ sacrifices for our freedom.
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Epiphany is celebrated 12 days after Christmas on 6th January (or January 19th for some Orthodox Church who have Christmas on 7th January) and is the time when Christians remember the Wise Men (also sometimes called the Three Kings) who visited Jesus.
The Twelfth Night (Epiphany) also marks a visit to the baby Jesus by The Magi, (the three Kings, or Wise Men). The word 'Epiphany' comes from Greek and means 'manifestation'. It celebrates 'the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ'.
Like it or not, shopping and holidays go together for many people. The few days following Thanksgiving manifest this tandem of holiday and shopping in the United States to the maximum. Shoppers have “Black Friday,” the big face-to-face shopping day immediately following Thanksgiving Day. To emphasize small business contribution to the American economy, there is Small Business Saturday” two days after Thanksgiving. Online shoppers hit the Internet on “Cyber Monday” four days after Thanksgiving. “Giving Tuesday” caps off this week just five days following Thanksgiving Let’s take a closer look at Cyber Monday.
7 December 2016 – An Event Which Will Live in Infamy
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is observed annually in the United States on December 7, to remember and honor the 2,403 citizens of the United States who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941.
On August 23, 1994, the United States Congress, by Pub.L. 103–308, designated December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. On Pearl Harbor Day, the American flag should be flown at half-staff until sunset to honor those who died because of the attack on U.S. Military and naval forces in Hawaii.
On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the Japanese Air Service attacked Naval Station Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, without warning and without a declaration of war, killing 2,403 American non-combatants, and injuring 1,178 others. The attack sank two U.S. Navy battleships and damaged five others. It also damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, and one minelayer. Aircraft losses were 188 destroyed and 159 damaged.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be "filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory". In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared that the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving.
On May 13, 1938, an act was approved which made November 11 in each year a legal holiday, known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I.