Culture Guide USA – July
Fun Facts about The Declaration of Independence
- The Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4. But it wasn’t actually signed until August 2, 1776, nearly a month later.
- The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 people, including future presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. (Incredibly, these men died on the same date – July 4, 1826 – exactly 50 years after the Declaration was approved.)
- You can see the original document at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
June marks the beginning of summer, a warm season with plenty of fun in the sun. It’s the perfect time for vacation, visits to beaches, and grilling burgers and hot dogs outside. American kids finish a school year and take a break until fall. Join us and learn about these traditions. Plus, read about the American flag and two special American women. Finally, travel with us to one of America’s greatest national parks.
Independence Day and the American Revolution in Film
Many American movies and TV shows have been made about this important event. Some are serious; others are very entertaining.
1776: Based on the musical of the same name, this 1972 film tells the story of America’s independence through song and music. Adams convinces his colleagues to rebel against the British with the help of Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
John Adams: This 2008 television miniseries tells the story of John Adams, “the man who united the states of America,” and his role in our nation’s beginnings. With excellent writing and an all-star cast, it’s one of the most memorable representations of this great man.
National Treasure: This 2004 fictional, adventure film captures the journey of Benjamin Franklin Gates, played by actor Nicholas Cage, as he searches for an ancient treasure hidden by America’s Founding Fathers. The map that leads to this treasure is drawn on the back of the Declaration of Independence, which Gates is forced to steal.
On July 4, Americans celebrate the birth of the United States. Some grill a special outdoor meal with their families. Others go to the beach to relax and swim in the ocean. And everyone looks forward to dazzling fireworks. Here are some of the biggest celebrations:
Macy’s 4th of July, New York. For 30 minutes each year, Macy’s hosts an incredible fireworks show. This year’s event will feature 75,000 pounds of fireworks, set off from the Brooklyn Bridge. It usually draws about 2 million people. You can also watch the show on TV at 9 p.m. on NBC.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, Boston. Boston hosts one of the most expensive and grandest fireworks shows in the country. For 21 minutes, 20,000 pounds of fireworks are displayed for a crowd of more than 500,000. The Boston Pops Orchestra treats guests to patriotic music. Last year was the 40th anniversary of this great tradition.
A Capitol Fourth, Washington, D.C. Where better to celebrate the birth of America than its own capital? Each year, Washington hosts an amazing fireworks show at the National Mall. The city also holds a public concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, where famous musicians perform each year. Watch the concert on live television at 8 p.m. on PBS.
Women in Flight
This national park includes important historic sites, such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the U.S. Capitol. War memorials such as the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial commemorate the lives of fallen soldiers. The National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Castle, and other museums also are located in this incredible area. With so much to see, it’s no wonder that 24 million people visit the National Mall every year.