Happy Fourth of July

On July 4, 1776, a new nation was born in the town of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This weekend we celebrate our day of independence with fireworks, hot dogs, and pool parties. Have you ever wondered where the normal traditions we have came from? Here’s a quick run-down of where some of our favorite holiday treats came from.

Sausages have been sold for thousands of years, but a “sausage” isn’t considered a “hot-dog” until someone puts it on a bun. The particular sausage that is used for a “hot dog” is called a dachsh und sausage. (See how everything ties together – isn’t random history fun?) There is no exact record of when the actual treat started to be served, and one of the stories comes from 1902 and a Giants game. You can check out many of the stories here. Hot-Dogs: made with mystery meat, and full of mystery.

Fireworks were invented in China about 2,000 years ago and the legend says that a Chinese cook was trying to cook and mixed charcoal, sulfur, and saltpeter. When it was compressed into a bamboo tube, it exploded. Ow. Don’t feel so bad next time you burn eggs and toast.

Greeks and Romans in ancient times used small pools for military exercises and created bath houses to treat ailments and injuries. The swimming pool became popular in Britain in the 19th century. And in the United States, the Racquet Club of Philadelphia built the first swimming pool in 1907.

I’ll be spending the weekend with my brother who is in the United States Air Force and ships out to Honduras at the end of August. Have fun this weekend, no matter what you do, and be safe! Happy Birthday America!

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