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Posts Tagged ‘Independence Day’

Independence Day! 10 Official Symbols of the USA

It’s the Fourth of July! And thoughts of this holiday can, of course, take one in many directions: the Founding Fathers, family gatherings, the struggles over the years to maintain peace and prosperity, etc. But today, let’s take a look at 10 iconic symbols that have become synonymous with the U.S. over its 240-plus years of existence.

U.S. National Symbols Research Topic

U.S. National Symbols Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

  1. Liberty Bell  Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this iconic symbol of American independence was originally commissioned in 1752.
  2. The Great Seal  The seal was created by the Founding Fathers to reflect the beliefs and values they attached to the new nation.
  3. Old Glory  Betsy Ross was reported to have sewn the first American flag in May of 1776.
  4. Bald Eagle  The American bald eagle was chosen as the National Bird in 1782, chiefly for its majestic beauty and strength.
  5. Uncle Sam  The U.S. got this nickname in 1813. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, who supplied food to the US Army during the War of 1812.
  6. Statue of Liberty  This gift from France was dedicated in New York City in 1886, and was declared a National Monument by President Coolidge in 1924.
  7. The Pledge of Allegiance  This Oath of Loyalty was originally written in 1892 by clergyman Francis Bellamy. It was amended in 1954 to include the words “under God.”
  8. “In God We Trust”  This became the nation’s official motto in July 1956 after President Eisenhower signed it into law.
  9. The Mighty Oak  The oak tree became the national tree of the U.S. in 2004 after Americans voted for it via the National Arbor Day Foundation.
  10. Bison  In 2016, President Obama signed into law the National Bison Legacy Act, marking the bison as the country’s official mammal.
Independence Day Research Topic

Independence Day Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

For further information on these and so many other facets of Independence Day, just go to eLibrary and get started. If you don’t as yet have a subscription to ProQuest products, you can request a free trial here!

 

CultureGrams: Independence Day around the World

Fireworks [Public Domain] via Pixabay

Fireworks [Public Domain] via Pixabay

Happy Fourth of July! It’s fun to compare traditional American Independence Day celebrations, such as barbecues, parades, and fireworks, with Independence Day traditions from around the world. Enjoy the following descriptions, originating from Latin America, Europe, and Africa and visit CultureGrams Holiday sections to find more details about holiday celebrations around the world.

Bolivia: Independence Day, held on 6 August, is the anniversary of the establishment of the republic in 1825. Two days before, students participate in parades in the cities where they live. Some wear traditional clothing, and some participate in marching bands. The president then chooses one of these cities to be the site of the country’s official Independence Day celebrations and gives an official address to the country. More parades, these ones featuring people from various institutions and indigenous groups, take place as well. Later in the day, families often spend time together at a fair, amusement park, or festival.

Dominican Republic: On Restoration of Independence Day, Dominicans celebrate the restoration of their independence following a short period under Spanish rule (called La Anexion, from 1861 to 1863) less than a decade after gaining independence from Haiti. The holiday commemorates La Guerra de Restauracion (the War of Restoration) fought to regain the country’s independence. On this day, the president gives an official speech in honor of the holiday. Mes de la Patria ends with Independence Day celebrations, which include a military parade and a presidential address to the nation.

Guinea-Bissau: A few days before Independence Day celebrations, major streets are decorated with the country’s flags. Banners, billboards, and flyers depicting patriotic images and the national theme for the year’s celebration are also displayed. A special speech given by the president is broadcast all around the country. Individuals and organizations spend the day reflecting on the country’s challenges and ways to increase national development. Schools organize special programs that feature the heroes of independence.

Poland: Independence Day celebrates Poland’s independence gained in 1918. The holiday was banned under Soviet rule and reinstated after Poland regained its independence. The main Independence Day celebrations take place in Kraków and Warsaw and are broadcast throughout the country by radio and television. The day is celebrated with parades and speeches. Ceremonies honor Poles who died fighting for their country. Homes, businesses, and government buildings are decorated with Polish flags.