Aunt Louise & Uncle Bob Father’s Day/Independence Day

Uncle Bob: Hello there! Louise and I know you students are busy with summer classes, internships and such, but we wanted to update you on a few more bits of American culture.

Aunt Louise: We were out of town last weekend, seeing our kids and grandkids, and didn’t get to write to you about Father’s Day, but it’s so similar to Mother’s Day, we were sure it wasn’t much of a reach for you to figure it out.

Uncle Bob: Father’s Day, like Mother’s Day, is all about family, honoring your parent, and has been celebrated in the USA since 1910. It was Started by Sonora Smart Dodd, whose father, William Jackson Smart, had raised 6 children as a single parent in Spokane, Washington.

Aunt Louise: We hope you all had a good weekend with your friends, perhaps some video time with your parents. American families don’t always celebrate on the date on the calendar, but remember, it’s always the right time to tell your folks you love and appreciate them.

Uncle Bob: Now, Louise, what should we tell these folks about American Independence Day, July 4th? I’m sure you’ve been thinking about it.

Aunt Louise: Our Independence Day commemorates the day the Continental Congress of our first 13 Colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, legally making us separate from Great Britain, regarding themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, made of 13 states, rather than colonies. It has been a federal holiday since 1870, and a paid federal holiday since 1938.

Uncle Bob: That’s a short version of the history, but we aren’t writing a textbook for you! Today, the U. K. and the U.S.A. are friends and allies, and we don’t dwell on the days when we were not. It’s good to know the past, so you can learn from it. Now, we celebrate the good!

Aunt Louise: And don’t we celebrate! Parades, marching bands, political candidates waving from cars and throwing candy to children… Almost everyone wears red, white and blue, even if you’re at home having a cookout with just the family. There are many patriotic songs to enjoy, from band music to country tunes on the radio, and others we sing at worship services. We used to love taking the kiddos in their pajamas to watch the firework displays!

Uncle Bob: Yes, then they would fall asleep on the way home, nothing better!

Aunt Louise: Here’s some odd bits of history for you…Two signers of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, were both presidents, and both died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Another of our presidents, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831. Our 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4, 1872, so far, the only president to have that special birthday.

Uncle Bob: July 4th is a very special day! Our family is going to the Marietta Square to listen to all the bands play, then have some hotdogs and hamburgers. If you’re nearby, you’re welcome to come listen too, but there will be celebrations in many parks and community areas wherever you are.

Aunt Louise: We hope you get out and enjoy them! We’ll be talking to you soon!

Aunt Louise and Uncle Bob

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