The picture above is a 4th of July version of Swig-style Sugar Cookies. The cookies are very easy to make and have become my very favorite sugar cookie.
In our family the 4th of July is second only to Christmas in favorite holidays. We have a long tradition of barbecues and fireworks. LOTS of fireworks! One year when we were in a new house, we discovered that from our roof we could see firework displays from all over the valley. Those of us who were not afraid of heights, climbed onto the roof and sat perched, watching the excitement in the skies for miles around us.
I have always had a love for American history and by extension feel a deep, abiding love and admiration for the people who had the foresight to believe that our country could stand as a sovereign nation. It would be interesting to have our Founding Fathers present and available to comment on what we, as a nation, have done with the laws and freedoms for which they laid down their lives.
Looking back on my childhood, I can remember the day that my love for American history was born. We were living in Norfolk, Virginia and my father, ever the faithful lover of any and all history, took us to Williamsburg for the day. I was fascinated with the period clothes, the portrayal of daily life and all things Americana.
In my adult life, I began to research my family history and discovered that my ancestors go waaaaay back to the early days of the settlement of the American colonies. Some of them were among the first settlers of Hartford, Connecticut. Others settled in South Carolina in the early 1700’s. And yes, I have ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War. It is no wonder that I have always been enamored with the history of America–it’s in my blood, so to speak.
If you are interested, take about 15 or 20 minutes to read the Memoirs of Tarleton Brown (no, not one of my ancestors). The memoirs are an intriguing firsthand account of the Revolutionary War as it was fought in the South and will bring one right into life during that period of time. We so often think of the Revolution being fought in the areas surrounding Boston, Philadelphia and New York, but all of the 13 colonies were involved in the fighting.
Betsy Ross 1777–painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Oh, and did you know that the American Revolution lasted from 1775-1783? Yeah, it wasn’t just a skirmish on July 4, 1776. I used to know much about the major battles–who fought where and when, the intrigue and finally the miracle of the American victory. That knowledge has faded with time, but the awe of it all still remains with me. I do earnestly believe that God’s hand was abundantly evident in the founding of this Nation.
When I started writing this post it was with the intention of talking about family, fun and fireworks surrounding the 4th of July. It is frequently interesting to me to see where I wander in my posts. I kind of like it when my brain lights up and takes me in unexpected paths.
Make some time this year to really consider what an incredible gift those who lived during the Revolution gave to us. If you are unfamiliar with the time period and stories, put some self-education about early America on your To-Do list. Just for fun, memorize the Preambles to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Learn about the checks and balances of the three branches of our government. Take some time to walk in the shoes of those who first fought to make us free. It will be time very well spent.
Today, for a great appetizer, read the afore mentioned Memoirs of Tarleton Brown. Then, head on over to the US History.org website. This a terrific website for reviewing early American history. It has a Revolutionary War timeline with links to important events or documents related to the American Revolution. Remember Thomas Payne’s Common Sense or Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech? I get teary-eyed every single time I think about the phenomenal character of the men and women of that time period.
You’ll need some inspirational goodies to go along with your homework. These cookies are quite inspirational. Trust me.