On July 4th, America celebrates its independence from the British crown by gathering together with family and friends to enjoy traditional picnic foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato salad. We celebrate with barbecues, fireworks, parades, and watermelon slices and popsicles, but have you ever wondered where these traditions came from? In this article, we’ll explore the history behind some of America’s most iconic Fourth of July traditions and how they evolved to be what they are today.
The Declaration of Independence
The Fourth of July is a great time to read about one of America’s most important historical documents—the Declaration of Independence. The declaration was signed on July 4, 1776, by 56 delegates from 13 colonies who declared their freedom from British rule. It marks one of the most monumental events in American history. It also marked an end to England’s control over its colonies in North America, a precedent that eventually led to other countries gaining independence from European powers.
The Star-Spangled Banner
In 1814, Francis Scott Key was aboard a British ship during an attack on Baltimore by British troops when he watched in awe as Fort McHenry defiantly flew a flag that “shall wave as long as our nation lives”. He penned these words that would eventually become America’s national anthem. This song is played every year during Independence Day celebrations to commemorate Key’s experience and to honor those who died fighting for American independence.
The Birth of 4th of July
In 1777, John Adams suggested that all thirteen colonies should celebrate independence on July 2. However, July 2 would not fall on a Friday until 1804. For a while, Americans were left to pick and choose between two conflicting dates to celebrate their independence—the 4th and 5th of July. But in 1870, Congress passed legislation declaring Independence Day an official national holiday. The date they chose? You guessed it—July 4!
Why do we Have Fireworks on The 4th?
Fireworks on Independence Day date back to 1777, when Philadelphia celebrated our nation’s birthday with a big bang. That year, Philadelphians were so thrilled to be free from British rule that they spent $80 for more than two tons of gunpowder and shot off about 10,000 fireworks—the equivalent of about $1.5 million today.
Fun fact about fireworks :
The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to 7th century China. The Chinese used fireworks for ceremonial and celebratory purposes, but it wasn’t until centuries later that fireworks were used for entertainment. It wasn’t until well into the 20th century that 4th of July parties included fireworks shows. Today, people from all over gather on Independence Day to enjoy a fun display!
How to Make the Best America-Themed Dishes with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Popular America-themed dishes such as apple pie, buffalo wings, and grilled burgers are excellent candidates for an extra virgin olive oil twist. The hearty flavors of these foods can stand up to the boldness of extra virgin olive oil and improve your overall dish in the process! Here are three American favorites that you can make over with extra virgin olive oil to make them healthier and tastier than ever before!
Some of our best-tasting recipes are made using inexpensive boneless skinless chicken breasts. Try our selo olive oil and garlic chicken for a simple meal that tastes like it came from a fancy restaurant! You can also try adding your favorite seasonings for flavorful flair, or marinate your meats ahead of time to infuse them with extra flavor.
A quick and easy solution, sloppy joes also make for a great family meal. Simply spread some of your favorite extra virgin olive oil on your bread or buns, add some thinly sliced onions, place ground beef in between, and serve! Your family will love you for it!
Whether you're grilling them or not, olive oil is a great choice for burger patties. Simply combine your favorite ground meat with 1⁄2 cup of olive oil and mix until thoroughly blended. For those who want a little extra kick in their burgers, add spices like salt, pepper, and even dried onion for flavor. You can now use these blended patties as much as you want!
Whip up a homemade dressing using extra virgin olive oil and fresh ingredients! Combine garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add parsley or other herbs (fresh is best) and mix well. Add some honey or agave nectar for sweetness. Put in fridge until ready to use. Pour over salads—or even better, dip breadsticks into it!
Corn on the Cob
For a fun family activity on July 4th, cut fresh ears of corn off of their cobs. Brush each ear with extra virgin olive oil and grill them over an open flame until they turn slightly golden brown.
Mini Cheese Pizzas for Kids
Looking for a fun way to liven up July 4th? Look no further than your fridge and pantry! With a few simple ingredients you have on hand, your kids can enjoy mini pizzas made from scratch using your favorite extra virgin olive oil. Add some fresh basil leaves for an added burst of summery flavor!
Celebrate Independence Day with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Research has shown time and time again the many health benefits of this amazing oil - from lowering blood pressure to strengthening bones.
Few things are as pleasurable as fresh, flavorful olive oil drizzled over freshly baked bread or added to a soup or sauce.
In addition to being a cooking essential, there are many incredible culinary uses for Extra Virgin Olive Oil - as a flavorful oil base for dressings, marinades, dips, or use as a cooking oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is pressed from olives, a fruit, so it's not just a cooking oil! Our oil is cold-pressed using less heat and pressure so it's not processed like other oils. It preserves all the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants!
Celebrate America's heritage while enjoying your salad or just after cutting up a homemade pizza from scratch!
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