Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Correspondents

July 1, 2011

Celebrating Independence Day is a truly American tradition

EXLINE — Here we are, already into the month of July.   Soon, it will be time for the fairs and a lot of other summer events to take place.

We sure have been getting our share of storms, heavy rains and hail in this area.   At least we are not getting severe flooding, like the people are that live along the Missouri River.

The recipe for this week, is one that would make a delicious drink, to be served at a picnic over the 4th of July weekend.

   

Raspberry Lemonade

 

Ingredients:

 

2 cans (12 oz. each) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

2 packages (10 oz. each) frozen sweetened raspberries, partially thawed

¼ c. sugar

2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled

Ice cubes

 

Directions

In a blender, combine lemonade concentrate, raspberries and sugar. Cover and process until blended. Strain to remove seeds. In a 4-1/2-qt. container, combine raspberry mixture, lemon-lime soda and ice cubes. Serve in chilled glasses. Serve immediately. Yield: 3-1/2 quarts.

 

The Exline Recreation Committee is asking for your help. If anyone would be interested in making and donating a cake for the upcoming 4th of July Cake Walk, please do so. Your help would be appreciated.

You may make a regular cake of your choosing, or you may take a regular box cake mix and make the two, nine inch round layers, then frost each one individually and use them as two cakes for the Cake Walk. You need to take your cakes to the community center before 1 p.m. that day.

Some further information regarding the Pie Contest for this years’ event on 4th of July. There will be two categories for the pie judging, one crust and two crust pies. Each category will receive a $25 first prize and second place will receive $15 for their winning entry.

An overall grand prize winner and a reserve winner will be chosen from all entries. The grand prize of $100 was donated by the Lange Funeral Home.   The reserve prize winner will receive $50 donated by the Thomas Funeral Home, both of Centerville.

All entries need to be at the community center by 11 a.m. Monday, with the judging beginning at 11:30 a.m. The pies must be submitted in disposable pie pans, as they will not be returned.  

When submitted for judging, the pies become the property of the Exline Recreation Committee, who is sponsoring the pie contest. These pies will then be sold after the judging, for a free will offering, to anyone that would like to purchase one, with the proceeds going towards community projects.

I have it on good authority that there has been a tremendous response from vendors who want to come on the 4th of July and participate in the flea market. Their displays will be set up on North First Street. That is the street that runs along the east side of the Exline Post Office.

The activities that will be held all day during the town’s celebration will be the quilt show in the Exline Hose Company No. 1 Museum that will also be open all day for touring, the Civil War encampment, a gas engine display, the motorcycle and car shows, along with the flea market. Plus, a food court will be available for food and drinks throughout the day. There will also be other things going on during the day, including music later in the afternoon. For further information or questions, call (641) 658-2399.  

We celebrate 4th of July each year, to commemorate our declaration of independence from British rule. That famous proclamation, is preserved, to commemorate the deeds of our founding fathers of long ago.

Many things led up to our declaring independence from Great Britain, but one of the main things that prompted it was taxation on the 13 original colonies without representation by the British Parliament. That meant the British Crown was imposing taxes on goods sold to the colonies to help pay for their expenses.

Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced the original resolution. It stated that the Continental Congress should declare the 13 American Colonies free from British rule   

During the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on June 11, 1776, a committee was formed to draft an official document that would formally cut our ties to Great Britain.

The committee that was given the task of coming up with this document was made up of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin,  Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman.

Thomas Jefferson was selected to draft the document because he was believed to be the most eloquent writer. John Adams assisted him in composing the document. After he wrote the declaration, it had 86 changes made to it, by those attending the Continental Congress.

This document became known as the Declaration of Independence and was adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 2, 1776.

The next night in the sweltering July heat of Philadelphia, John Adams went to his room and wrote a letter to his wife Abigail back in Massachusetts. He told her that, “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”

John Adams thought the day the document was adopted, which was July 2, would be the day that would be celebrated and not July 4, which was the date the Continental Congress approved the specific wording of the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence was first published as a Broadside that was printed on the night of July 4 by John Dunlap, of Philadelphia. It is believed that about 200 of these documents were printed, known as the Dunlap Broadside. There are 24 of these famous documents that are still known to exist today.

The copy of the Declaration that was signed by Congress, is known as the engrossed or parchment copy.

It is believed that the clerk Timothy Matlack, probably wrote out the document and put on the title of "The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America."

The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence occurred at Independence Square in Philadelphia. on July 8, 1776 to a fanfare of music and bells.

This all occurred without some of the Continental Congress delegates even being present. The New York delegate did not even vote on the resolution until July 9. Also, not one signer did so, on the 4th of July.

By August of that year, most of the 56 men had signed the document.   Thomas Jefferson witnessed John Hancock signing his famous signature, but Thomas McKean did not sign it until 1781.

On July 4, 1777, in Philadelphia, one year later, Congress adjourned and celebrated Independence Day with bells, bonfires and fireworks.

During the American Revolutionary War, the parchment copy traveled with the Continental Congress as they had to move several times during the war to evade the British army.

In 1789, the parchment copy of the Declaration was handed over to the custody of the Secretary of State.          

During the War of 1812, the document was taken into the state of Virginia to keep it from falling into British hands when they attacked Washington, D.C. and burned the White House.

After that war, it was noted that the ink of the original printed Declaration of Independence was beginning to fade.

By 1820, John Quincy Adams the son of John Adams, was the Secretary of State. He commissioned the printer William J. Stone to create an engraving that would be identical to the original parchment copy. This version was called the "fifth official version" of the Declaration.

Mr. Stone's engraving was made by using a wet-ink transfer process, where by the writing off of the document could be moistened and transferred to the surface of a copper plate which was then etched, making it possible to make copies that could be run off the plate onto a press.

In 1823, William Stone finished his engraving and Congress ordered 200 copies to be printed on parchment.

Since the original parchment document was not taken care of properly, Stone's new engraving, has been used since then for modern reproductions.

On the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1826 both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were lying in their own beds dying. Adams in Quincy, Mass. and Jefferson near Charlottesville, Va.

That day, when John Adams said his last words, he proclaimed, “Thomas Jefferson survives.” But a few hours earlier on that same Independence Day, Thomas Jefferson had already passed away.

Between 1841 to 1876, the original parchment copy was publicly exhibited at the Patent Office building in Washington, D.C. There, it was exposed to sunlight, humidity and temperature changes. This caused the document to fade badly.

For the Centennial Exposition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our country, the document was sent to Philadelphia for the festivities and displayed at Independence Hall, after which, it was sent back to Washington D.C.

For the World’s Colombian Exposition that was to be held in Chicago in 1892, the document was going to be sent for exhibition there but since it was in such bad shape it was not taken there and removed from public view in Washington D.C.

It was then sealed between two plates of glass and put in storage, for about 30 years. After that time, it was  only exhibited to the public, on rare occasions by order of the Secretary of State.

The 4th of July was not even considered an official holiday until July 4, 1941 when Congress made it a federal holiday.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the document was placed in the vaults of Fort Knox, Ky.

For awhile, the famous document was under the control of the Library of Congress but by 1952 it was transferred to the National Archives, where it was placed on permanent display.

To preserve the document it was sealed in helium but by the 1990s it was noted it was still deteriorating. By 2001, modern preservation techniques were used and it was treated and encased using the latest in preservation technology in aluminum and titanium and filled with Argon gas.

It was then put on display again to the public, in the Rotunda of the National Archives where it remains today.

The country continues to celebrate Independence Day each year on the 4th of July, by having parades, concerts, celebrations, family activities, picnics and fireworks to commemorate this famous document and what it stands for that was produced 235 years ago.

If you are planning to attend the 4th of July festivities in Exline, plan to stay all day to take in the sights, enjoy the music, activities and visit with friends. Remember, to bring your lawn chairs with you. The days activities will conclude with the fireworks at dusk on the west edge of town. We hope to see you there!

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