HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY
The 4th of July holiday is a celebration of our country becoming independent from Great Britain on July 4, 1776.
This day means so much more than fireworks, floating the river, and great food. Independence Day was the day the Continental Congress stood as one and said with one resounding voice, "No more!" Two hundred and forty-five years later, the Founding Fathers' words are still resolute.
Facts you may not know about this date:
- Only two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence became president: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
- Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same date: July 4, 1826.
- James Monroe, a Founding Father but not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, died on July 4, 1831.
- Calvin Coolidge is still the only President of the United States to have been born on the 4th of July (July 4, 1872.)
- 1791 was the first time Independence Day was used in print.
- The 4th of July was not a paid Federal holiday until 1938. (Thank you, Franklin D. Roosevelt!)
Before you celebrate with an at-home fireworks display, please make sure you practice safety and know the local ordinances and laws in your area. Remember that fireworks can pose a fire and safety hazard to those who use them.
Use caution when shooting fireworks, and be sure to follow these recommended safety tips from FireworksSafety.org:
- Read cautionary labels and performance descriptions before lighting a firework
- Never give fireworks to children
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks
- Use the fireworks outdoors, away from buildings and vehicles
- Dispose of fireworks safely (wet them down and place them in a metal trash can until the next day)
- If possible have a fire extinguisher present.
- Intoxicated persons should not handle fireworks.
- Keep all flammable liquids and items away from the fireworks.
- Pick up all your litter and trash resulting from the used fireworks.
For anyone who is traveling this 4th of July weekend, remember to always wear your seat belt and NEVER drink and drive. Call a designated driver to get you home safely. Not only do you risk your life when you drive impaired, you are putting the other drivers you share the roadway with at risk, too. Also, keep in mind social distancing and mask recommendations when traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Fun on the Water:
- Let someone know where you are going and for how long.
- Don't swim alone.
- Young children should wear a properly fitted floatation device and always be supervised by a responsible adult.
- Avoid risky and dangerous behavior (swinging, diving and jumping off of objects into unknown areas of waters could lead to serious injury and or death)
- Don't swim in fast moving water.
- Always be on the lookout for hazardous vegetation and dangerous wildlife in and around the water (snakes, wild animals, stinging and biting insects, Poison Ivy and Poison Oak)
- Keep your body hydrated with plenty of watery drinks when working or playing in the heat of the day.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office wishes you and your family a safe and exciting 4th of July holiday weekend.
Lafayette Woods, Jr.