Independence Day - God Bless America!

Pledge of Allegiance:
I pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all.

Declaration of Independence Text

Additional Resources:



Fireworks Safety:
To help you celebrate safely this Fourth of July, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Council on Fireworks Safety offer the following safety tips:

Always read and follow label directions.
Have an adult present.
Buy from reliable sellers.
Use outdoors only.
Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
Light only one firework at a time.
Never re-light a "dud" firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
Never give fireworks to small children.
If necessary, store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan.
Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
Stay away from illegal explosi


Links to enjoy:
Star Spangled Banner History - Flag and Anthem
Pledge of Allegiance and Guidelines for Flying the Flag
Declaration of Independence History
US Flag History
Kids Domain July 4th Fun
Fun Fourth of July Games for Children - Pass the Map, Stars and Stripes games
July 4th Treats for Kids -  pretzel sparklers, skyrocket ice pops and other fun recipes for kids
Painted Votive Holder -  from the craft exchange at Kids Domain
Firecracker craft
4th of July Printables - games, puzzles, coloring and more from Kids Domain


Family Activities:
Decorate your bike for the big parade! 
Get the neighbors together early on the fourth for a special around the block Independence Day parade.  Strollers, bikes and even scooters can be decorated and a tape of great patriotic music can be played in the background.  Remember to "kick off" your parade with a word of prayer thanking God for the many blessings we as Americans enjoy.

"Grown Up" Ideas, Recipes and Crafts can be found at


American Flag Cake
Make this festive Flag Cake this Fourth of July and be the talk of the party.

1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix (plus ingredients to make cake-listed on box)
1 package (4-serving size) JELL-O brand gelatin, any red flavor
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
3 1/2 cups (8-ounce container) Cool Whip brand whipped topping, thawed
1 pint strawberries, washed and sliced
1 cup blueberries, washed
1 cup Kraft miniature marshmallows

13 x 9 baking pan
Large fork (two-pronged type)
Medium mixing bowls
Measuring cup
Rubber scraper or large spoon
Large tray or cutting board (must be larger than 13 x 9 pan)
Table knife
Aluminum foil

Grease 13 x 9 pan with margarine and dust lightly with flour. Prepare, mix and bake cake mix according to package directions. Cool cake for 15 minutes.

With large fork, make holes in cake about every 1/2 inch.

Pour gelatin into mixing bowl. Add cup of boiling water and use scraper to mix thoroughly until gelatin is completely dissolved. Use measuring cup to pour gelatin over cake. (It will run down into holes, making sliced cake have red stripes.)

Chill cake in refrigerator 3 to 4 hours.

Cover tray with aluminum foil.

Put about one inch of warm water in kitchen sink. Take pan out of refrigerator and dip bottom (don't let water come up over sides) into water for about 10 seconds. Put large tray on top of cake, and invert.

Frost sides and top with whipped topping. Arrange strawberries and marshmallows in alternating rows for stripes, leaving upper left for field of blueberries. Chill again until time to serve.

About the Author:
Copyright 2000 Nexchange Corporation


On July 4th, Rally 'Round the Flag
Decorating With Wallpaper

By Jaima Brown

(ARA) - Fortunately, we in the United States celebrate our most patriotic holiday and the glories of summer on the very same day: the Fourth of July. What better time to unfurl "Old Glory," not just on the front porch or in the yard, but as picnic decorations and, more enduringly, in a kids' bedroom or the guest room?

Teens revel in independence. Surrounding them in stars and stripes shows that you do, too, while also helping to put the real spirit of independence in historic perspective. At the same time, the bold stripes and bright stars of America's most recognized symbol will enliven their waking hours and all of the time they spend in the room they call their own.

Guests, too, will appreciate a room dressed up in red, white and blue. Patterns in the Wicker Park 3 collection from S.A. Maxwell Co. offer lots of opportunity to show your true colors. A border, consisting of a continuous row of authentic American flag patterns in seemingly endless repeat, is punctuated by flag-patterned, die-cut stars that reach down in silhouette cutouts to add a sculptured effect at the border's bottom edge.

Walls in subdued stripes set the stage for a real flag, which can be hung above the headboard as the room's stunning focal point. Pillows and a comforter in different coordinating patterns of red, white and blue complete this room-size tribute to American tradition.

Rain or shine, indoors or out, a picnic table dressed in red, white and blue offers a spirited reminder of what we celebrate on the Fourth of July. Combine two lengths of the die-cut flag border in Maxwell's Wicker Park collection to form a runner down the center of the table, so that each side has protruding stars. Colored glassware is a tabletop trend, and cobalt blue wine or water glasses fit perfectly with this theme.

Red flowers, available in abundance this time of year, make the ideal centerpiece, shown at their best in a vintage Americana earthenware pitcher. And who says red candles are just for Christmas? Stand them tall and let them sparkle.

Follow the hot dogs and corn on the cob -- or your more elevated dinner fare -- with the mouthwatering, color-coordinated fruits of an American summer: blueberries, red raspberries, and maybe a dollop or two of frothy white whipped cream to complete the picture.

No wallpaper company is more steeped in American tradition than S.A. Maxwell Co., which was born in this country 150 years ago. In addition to the Wicker Park collection featured here, it introduced a special Sesquicentennial collection to celebrate this anniversary. In keeping with the Maxwell tradition, both of these books, like all that the company produces, contain coordinated patterns of wallpaper, borders and fabric along with ideas for mixing and matching them with success.

To locate a retailer carrying Wicker Park, Sesquicentennial, and other collections from S.A. Maxwell, call 847-932-3700 or visit the company's Web site at

Courtesy of ARA,, e-mail: [email protected]

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained, and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

  • For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  • For protecting them by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
  • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  • For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
  • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
  • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  • For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated Government here by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren.

  • We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.
  • We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here.
  • We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare.
That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown,
and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved;
and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce,
and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

The signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows:

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton