Fourth of July Extravaganza — Google Homepage Tribute to America, Patriotic 4th of July Music Tributes & Quotes, Bob Hope’s USO Show for Our Deployed Troops (video)
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on July 4, 2011
Happy Fourth of July, and happy 235th birthday, America! Google’s homepage logo shown above pays tribute to our nation’s Day of Independence from Britain. On July 2, 1776, the resolution of independence for the new nation was approved, and two days later on a hot, steamy day on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was dated and signed by members of the Second Continental Congress. However, all the signatures now on our nation’s famous document were procured over several weeks.
Some Fourth of July historical trivia from Wikipedia:
In 1777, thirteen gunshots were fired, once at morning and again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.
In 1778, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute. Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.
In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5.
In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, James Monroe, the Fifth President of the United States, died on July 4, 1831. Calvin Coolidge, the Thirtieth President, was born on July 4, 1872, and thus was the only President to be born on Independence Day.
As I did last year and the year before that, here are a few music video tributes to America and to the men and women in our military who have put their lives in the paths of danger to serve and protect our nation, to protect and defend freedom — God bless our troops!
Lee Greenwood, Bob Hope Persian Gulf USO Show 1991 – “God Bless the USA”
Toby Keith – “American Soldier”
Elvis Presley – “American Trilogy”
Martina McBride – “God Bless America,” Rose Bowl Parade, 2002
The Pledge of Allegiance, put to Music Starring Ronald Reagan
Johnny Cash – “Ragged Old Flag”
3 Doors Down, “Here Without You” – American Soldier Dedication
John Wayne – “Taps,” an American Tribute
Judy Garland – “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”, Oscar ceremony, 1941
George M. Cohan Medley
John Philip Sousa – “The Stars and Stripes Forever” New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein Conducting | Recorded at Royal Albert Hall, London, 1976
This last video is from the conclusion of Bob Hope’s final Vietnam Christmas tour with the United Service Organizations (USO) in 1972. They sing “Silent Night.” While not a Fourth of July performance, it recaps and demonstrates the spirit of our military and the tireless, courageous devotion that Hope and countless volunteers had shown when entertaining our troops in the Vietnam war zones. At the time of the filming of the video, Hope had been entertaining our troops for three decades. In all, this amazing man appeared in or hosted 199 USO shows — Hope performed his first USO show in 1941, and for the next 50 years, traveled countless thousands upon thousands of miles and entertained our U.S. troops during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Lebanon Civil War, the latter years of the Iran–Iraq War, and the 1990–1991 Persian Gulf War.
Hope’s USO shows were filled to the brim with his trademark comedy monologs (complete with his trusty, ever-present golf club), celebrity appearances, dancers, singers, and silly skits. And lots of pretty girls.
In this video clip, Hope thanks the following entertainers for their help with the Vietnam USO shows: Jerry Colonna, Carole Baker, Janis Paige, Phyllis Diller, Ann-Margret, John Bubbles, Raquel Welch, Joey Heatherton, Barbara McNair, Jack Jones, Vic Damone, Connie Stevens, Jill St. John, Anita Bryant, Kay Stevens, Elaine Dunn, Johnny Bench, Jim Nabors, Lola Falana, Vida Blue, Bobby Martin, Rosie Grier, Phil Crosby, Teresa Graves, The Golddiggers, and many others, as well as the late Billy Graham and late Cardinal Spellman, and to “the greatest band in the world,” Les Brown and His Band of Renown. He also thanks a number of politicians for their support and the sponsors who picked up the tab for his overseas shows for our troops. A 1997 act of Congress named Hope an “Honorary Veteran.”
God bless Bob Hope. He was a jewel, a national treasure (even though he was born in England) — there has been no one like him since.
Bob Hope’s Final Vietnam Christmas Tour
A few quotes from over the years on the subject of liberty and America:
Let freedom never perish in your hands.
~ Joseph Addison
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
~ Erma Bombeck
America is a nation with many flaws, but hopes so vast that only the cowardly would refuse to acknowledge them.
~ James Michener
We dare not forget that we are the heirs of that first revolution.
~ John F. Kennedy
Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.
~ Harry Emerson Fosdick
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
~ Ronald Reagan
Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
America is just the country that shows how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and oppression of the worst kind. There the politician has come to be looked upon as the very scum of society.
~ Peter Kroptkin, speech, 1891
We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.
~ William Faulkner
America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact – the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality. ~ Adlai Stevenson
From my post last year:
On July 4, 1776, a group of inspired, intelligent, courageous men signed America’s Declaration of Independence, a document drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776. This Declaration is one of our nation’s most cherished symbols of individual liberty and it is indisputably Jefferson’s most enduring monument to this country. And from that hot, humid day in July, 234 years ago, the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness in America has never been the same.
I love America, and what she strives to represent, with every fiber in my body. She is by no means perfect, but compared to others, she is a shining gem.