Lisa's week: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
This week, citizens of the United States around the world celebrated Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July, with parades, family get-togethers, barbecues and fireworks, so I thought it would be interesting to look into a little of the history of this well-known day.
The War of Independence was fought from 1775 to 1783 by 13 colonies wishing to free themselves from the British Empire. The original conflict started with anger towards the payment of taxes to the British government and then quickly escalated to the point of war in 1775. On 2nd July 1776, the Continental Congress voted a resolution of independence from Great Britain as proposed by Richard Lee and then the delegates adopted the historic Declaration of Independence two days later on 4th July 1776. The infamous Declaration was mostly drafted by Thomas Jefferson as part of a five-man committee, which also included John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.
John Adams always claimed that 2nd July was the real date of independence and refused to celebrate on the 4th or to attend any official events out of protest. Another interesting, historical fact is that both Jefferson and Adams died on 4th July 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Gradually, the idea of celebrating the 4th of July spread across the country and Philadelphia was the first to create an annual event – starting in 1777.
It first became a federal holiday in 1941 and while the political connections may have become less over the years, its popularity for being a day to feel patriotic and proud of the US has grown.
Flags are flown, the Star Spangled Banner will be sung and people will gather to watch amazing firework displays in red, white and blue.
What is Lisa's week?
"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"
Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday
Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?
Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?
Episode 4: The sound of London
Episode 5: Not just a last resort
Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise
Episode 7: Title talk
Episode 8: The Union Jack
Episode 9: Why Thursday?
Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?