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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Celebrating Independence Day in Second Life - Pen Dragon Reporting

In 1765 an initially small group of British colonists in the American colonies revolted against King George and his rule. The initial complaint was that there were no representatives from the American colonies in the British parliament and this made their taxation of the colonies illegal. This was the start of the American Revolution that lasted until 1783, but it was in 1776 that the American colonies voted to declare independence from Britain and King George. On July 2nd of that year the Continental Congress voted  to declare the colonies independent of Britain. Two days later, July 4th, they released the Declaration of Independence. That is the day we in the United States celebrate as Independence Day.

John Adams, our first Vice President and second President as well as a signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote to his wife Abigail about the day the Continental Congress voted to declare Independence saying “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” He was off by 2 days as Americans have celebrated the 4th of July, the date shown on the Declaration of Independence as opposed to July 2nd when the resolution for independence was passed by the congress.

The first celebrations, in 1777, included 13 gunshots in the morning and evening and a special dinner for the Continental Congress. Some cities held parades, there was music, ships in harbor were dressed out in red, white and blue and, of course, there were fireworks. Those of us in the United States celebrate our Independence Day today much the same way today with barbecues, fireworks and parades.

There are even some great, while somewhat strange, records associated with 4th of July celebrations. This includes town in New England competing for the largest bonfire created from barrels and casks. The towns would arrange them into pyramids and then burn them on the evening of July 3rd, ushering in the holiday. The record is held by Salem, Massachusetts who created a stacked pyramid 40 tiers high.This made the tallest recorded bonfire in history. This custom was commonplace in the 19th and 20th century, and is still practiced in some New England towns today. Another fun fact is that on July 4th 1778, George Washington ordered a double ration of rum of all of his soldiers to celebrate the holiday. Because fireworks are such a big part of the traditional celebration a group of miners actually blew up a post office in Swan, Colorado in 1884 because it wasn’t supplied with fireworks.

While some of the more odd occurrences and traditions are long behind us, we still celebrate the 4th of July in much the same manner, even in Second Life. You can find all sorts of great events taking place to celebrate the holiday, from picnics to live singers and even fireworks. Just don’t blow anything up if they don’t have the fireworks!

Some of these celebrations include a pool party with DJs and food at the Wolf Valley Pool. This event lasts all week and celebrates both Canada Day and Independence Day. Better Life Counselling Community will also be celebrating with a beach party, offering a cookout, live Djs to dance to and a fireworks display as well as a best dressed competition. Another great event to check out will be the DJs and live singers at BabyGirlsSkyGarden. From 4-6p there will be a 40s Wartime themed music set and then at 7p Shaye Dezno-Jonstone will be performing live. If these events don’t grab your attention, just take a look at the events listing and you’re sure to find one that does! Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

SLURL: Better Life Counselling Community

SLURL: secondlife:///app/region/Misty%20Valley/239/75/3005  BabyGirlsSkyGarden

-Pen Dragon


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