Monday, July 4th

Fourth of July

 

Fireworks, roasted marshmallows, family get-togethers … no holiday is more all-American than the Fourth of July.

 

A commemoration of our adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Independence Day is celebrated in big towns and small towns all across America with parades, barbeques,  red, white, and blue decorations, political speeches, and a patriotic feeling shared by all.

 

The Declaration of Independence is the document that spells out the thirteen American colonies’ freedom from British rule. Voted on by Congress on July 2 and ratified on July 4, this important document contains, in its second sentence, what is widely regarded as the most meaningful statement on human rights:

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

 

The Fourth of July allows Americans the opportunity to be grateful for our freedom and recognize the richness of our history — all in the company of good friends and family.

While most of us are content with the traditional Fourth of July menu of hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato salad, there are those who enjoy participating in hot dog eating contests. The most famous hot dog eating contest is sponsored by Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog on Coney Island, New York. Held since 1916, the contest pits 20 contestants against each other in a race to see how many hot dogs they can each eat in 12 minutes. The record holder is Joey Chestnut with 69 hot dogs in 2013.

 

Kid-Safe Activities for Fourth of July

 

  • Neighborhood or family bike parade — Kids can decorate their bikes with red, white, and blue streamers, pinwheels, construction paper, or balloons and then have a short parade up and down the block.
  • Declaration of Independence in kids-friendly words http://quatr.us/northamerica/after1500/government/declaration.htm Help children understand the significance of this important document.
  • Water balloon dodge ball — Using red, white, and blue balloons (of course!) filled with water, divide the children into two equal groups.  The children throw balloons at each other and each child who gets hit is out of the game. A nice game to play to cool down!
  • Instead of the egg in the Easter Egg game, substitute an ice cube. First child to reach the finish line with the ice cube on the spoon is the winner.
  • The tried and true watermelon seed spitting contest! Permission to spit — What child doesn’t think this game is the coolest?

 

The Fourth of July allows Americans the opportunity to be grateful for our freedom and recognize the richness of our history — all in the company of good friends and family.

General Fourth of July cards

Fourth of July Across the Miles

First Fourth of July

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Sunday, June 28th

5 Things You Didn’t Know About America’s Birthday


July 4 is celebrated as Independence Day in America, a time of parades, fireworks and barbecues, when patriotic citizens recall the freedom won from Great Britain by the thirteen colonies in 1776. Here are 5 things you may not know about the United States of America’s birthday:

The very first proto-Independence Day celebrations took place in 1776, the same year the Continental Congress declared the colonies’ freedom. Mock funerals were held for the English monarch George III, along with the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence.

Nine of the original colonies voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence. Voting no were South Carolina and Pennsylvania, New York abstained and Delaware was undecided. It took 15 months to get the majority of the colonies to agree.

Independence Day was declared a national holiday by Congress in 1870. Federal workers got the day off with pay after 1938.

The number of people living in the U.S. during the time of American independence was approximately 2.5 million.

One of the most important effects of the Declaration of Independence at the time was to allow foreign governments to recognize the United States of America as a free country, no longer dependent on Great Britain.

Greeting Card Universe helps you celebrate the Fourth of July with unique Independence Day cards for every member of your family, friends and co-workers. Making someone’s day special couldn’t be easier or more convenient! Just order your card on-line, add your personal message and we’ll get your card in the mail the next business day. Or order on-line, get free in-store pick-up, usually in 1 hour, at most Target and Bartell Drug Stores.

 

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Wednesday, July 3rd

The Red, White and Blue American Flag


The Fourth of July is the United States’  Independence Day, celebrated throughout the country from coast to coast with fireworks, barbecues, and trips to the park or beach. Patriotic Americans display the flag with pride. But why is the “Stars and Stripes” colored red, white, and blue?

When the American flag was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777, the colors weren’t assigned specific meanings. However, the Great Seal of the United States of America (see above) contained these colors which did have significance.

Red stood for valor and hardiness.

White stood for innocence and purity.

Blue stood for justice, perseverance, and vigilance.

What about the stripes and stars themselves? The 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies that won their independence from Britain. The 50 stars symbolize the 50 American states.

How should you display an American flag or properly dispose of a damaged flag? Learn more about flag etiquette here.

Greeting Card Universe wishes all our friends a very happy and safe Fourth of July 2013! Need last minute Fourth of July cards? No problem! Just use our free service. Order on-line and pick up your cards—usually in 1 hour or less—at most local Target and Bartell Drug Stores.

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Sunday, July 1st

Fourth of July – the Big Bang

Americans don’t have to look up the date for Independence Day – it’s also known as the Fourth of July, and is an annual federal holiday which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This document declared the American colonies’ independence from Great Britain.

“The United States is the only country with a known birthday.”
—James G. Blaine

In 1870, Congress declared Independence Day – July 4th – as an annual federal holiday, though Independence Day celebrations had taken place in American since 1777.

On the fourth of July, Americans traditionally celebrate with picnics, barbecues, a day at the beach, carnivals, baseball games, family reunions, parades, fairs, concerts, patriotic displays, political speeches, and events focused on American history. An essential part of the Fourth of July celebration is fireworks. Many cities host free public fireworks shows, and some states allow their residents to purchase individual fireworks (though not all).

Here are some facts about Independence Day that you may not know:

Which Three American Presidents Died on Independence Day? John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both signers of the Declaration of Independence who also served as President of the United States, died on July 4, 1826. Another former U.S. President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831. BONUS: Woodrow Wilson is the only U.S. president to have been born on Independence Day – July 4, 1872.

How Did George Washington Celebrate Independence Day? In 1778, still serving as a general in the War of Independence against the British,  Washington permitted his soldiers to fire an artillery salute and gave them a double ration of rum.

What Did the Founding Fathers Think of Independence Day? The Continental Congress – the governing body of the original 13 American colonies – voted in favor of a document declaring America’s independence from Britain on July 2, 1776, and formally adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Thereafter, John Adams (2nd President of the United States) refused invitations to attend Fourth of July celebrations because he believed July 2 was the correct date to celebrate, not July 4.

Where’s the Oldest Fourth of July Celebration in the United States? The Bristol Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island, has been taking place continuously since 1785.

Independence Day by the Numbers

  • Consumers spend $600 million on fireworks for Fourth of July celebrations, and 42% of all Americans attend public fireworks displays.
  • On July 4th, 36 million barbecues and picnics will take place around the country, attended by 62% of Americans, who spend nearly $2 billion on food, charcoal, and lighter fluid + another $341 million in beer and an additional $101 million in soda.
  • Over 1/3 of all Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Fourth of July holiday.

Greeting Card Universe has one of a kind, fun, patriotic greeting cards for Independence Day so you can celebrate this all-American holiday with every member of your family, your friends, and every other person in your life.

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Friday, July 1st

Dog and Cat Safety on Independence Day

As any pet owner knows, our cats and dogs don’t handle the Fourth of July well, especially when it comes to firecrackers. But did you know there are other hazards on Independence Day that may end with you and your pet in the emergency vet’s office? Just like kids, your pets need a little extra care and attention. As a responsible pet owner, you want to do the best for the furry members of your family.

Here are three tips that will help you and your dog or cat enjoy the a safer and happier holiday.

Never use fireworks around pets. This sounds like a no-brainer, but some people don’t realize just how strong a dog’s chase instinct can be. Mr. Fluffy only needs to jump on that one cherry bomb you tossed, and he’s in big trouble. In addition, an excited dog might jump up and try to grab a sparker out of your hand, resulting in severe burns to eyes, nose, mouth and even paws. Cats might be frightened and run away. Keep pets indoors, please.

Never leave fireworks laying around unsupervised: Unused fireworks also pose a danger. If your dog or cat chews on them, he’ll be ingesting poisons like arsenic and potassium  nitrate.

Never take your pet to a public fireworks display, even on a leash: If you think your dog finds a crowded, noisy and extremely loud public area as much fun as you do, think again.  A terrified dog reacts on instinct, and may run away or bite. Leave Mr. Fluffy at home; he’ll be much happier.

You’ll find other important tips about pet safety on the Fourth of July on the ASPCA web site.

At Greeting Card Universe, we have a large collection of Fourth of July cards, some featuring pets and animals of many kinds for you to exchange with family (except Mr. Fluffy, but only because he can’t read) and all your friends. We hope you have a bang on Independence day, and stay safe!

Friday, June 24th

The 4th of July is All Fired Up!

Independence Day on the fourth of July – a holiday sometimes called “America’s Birthday” – has long been associated with parades, barbeques, bonfires,  picnics and family reunions, as well as more public events like carnivals, concerts and – best of all from many people’s point of view – fireworks. We love to watch the spectacular sparks of brilliant color sizzling and bursting in the sky while we “ooh” and “aah.”

But when did the United States start celebrating Independence Day with fireworks?

Since making their way into Europe from the east in the 13h century, fireworks were commonly used at important public events and celebrations like religious festivals. When the Pilgrims sailed to the New World, they brought a love of fireworks with them – so much so that in 1731, Rhode Island passed a law banning the “unnecessary firing of guns, pistols, squibs or other Fire-works.” In 1751, Pennsylvania followed Rhode Island’s example.

On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail (regarding the adoption of the Declaration of Independence): “The day… will be celebrated by succeeding generations… with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
(source – Life Magazine: July 4, 1955)

The first public celebration of Independence Day occurred in 1777, when America was still at war with Britain and independence seemed far from assured. Since then, we’ve come to expect magnificent fiery displays lighting up the night sky on the Fourth of July to mark America’s Birthday with a bang!

Greeting Card Universe has many humorous or patriotic ways to send a “Happy Independence Day” to every member of your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and everyone else you want to share in the celebration and say “Happy birthday, America!” with a smile.

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