Saturday, July 4, 2009

White House Fireworks, Family & the Fourth

Families have celebrated inside the white house for generations as guests and occupants. John and Abigail Adams were the very first occupants to live at a swampland muddy mansion sans any landscaping. Thomas Jefferson, the scholarly widower president, occupied the White House during the White House's first Independence Day, July 4th 1801 being served by slaves. The first tiny public celebration of July 4th, was in 1804 and the tradition is now as much of the White House tradition as is the gilt-framed Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington in the East Room. Three American presidents have died on the Fourth of July, two Founding Fathers on the fiftieth anniversary in 1826 with another, James Monroe passing away on the 55th anniversary. Today is also the 11th birthday of the current First daughter, Malia Obama, who had one whale of a girly party with friends from DC and Chicago at Camp David. President Calivn Coolidge was also born on the fourth of July. (Malia, last month in Paris)

America celebrates this year with hearty and hale tourists mounting the steps in a return to the crown of Lady Liberty, an animatronic President Obama installed in Disney Worlds's Hall of Presidents as a 1,000 immigrants become Americans and with over a thousand US military personnel and their families spread out on the rolling green South Lawn to express delight at the mysteries of powder and powerful rockets that shall light the night sky. The backdrop of the Washington Monument against the tidal basin is clearly seen from the South Lawn and the Truman Balcony. Just beyond, stands the twentieth century's stone wonder of the tribute to America's 16th president and his inaugural words.

In 1941, under FDR, July 4th became a legal, national holiday in 48 states with no shoehorning it to the nearest Monday or Friday. Its still weird to think of our parents being born with less than fifty states. Independence, Missouri is famed for another president, Harry S Truman. (Fireworks explode beyond the Washington Monument in 1986 while President & Mrs. Reagan lived at the White House.)

Michelle Obama has made military families part of her portfolio of missions upon entering the East Wing. In the first six months, military families have been at the White House for a race kick off to aide disabled vets and for working muscled elbow to veteran elbow with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the president to pack support items for the troops. This even allows the White House to carry on the tradiition of being open to all on one of the days most treasured by nation for what it costs to be free. (Will update with images when they become available.)

President & Mrs. Obama leisurely stroll back to "The Beast" after visiting the troops at Fort McNair on the Fourth.
The South Lawn during the BBQ portion before the Foo Fighters and Jimmy Fallon.
Have A Happy & Safe Fourth!


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