“NATIONAL HOLIDAYS: The 1st of July – Canada Day; the 4th of July – (U.S.) Independence Day, I say: Let’s celebrate!*” – UPDATE JULY 2013

Vol. 4, No. 14, July 2nd, 2013

TITLE: “NATIONAL HOLIDAYS: The 1st of July – Canada Day; the 4th of July – (U.S.) Independence Day,  I say: Let’s celebrate!*” – UPDATE JULY 2013


The arrival of the month of July means national holidays in Canada and the United States. The 1st is Canada Day; and the 4th is Independence Day.  My books of the week are: 1) Rookie Read-About Holidays: Canada Day [Paperback] by Patricia J Murphy (Author); and  2) Apple Pie 4th Of July [Paperback] by Janet S. Wong (Author), Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Illustrator). Hence, my topic of the week is celebrating your national day. (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on holidays and special dates.)

PREVIEW: Next week, I will talk about garage sales – in some places, they are called yard sales. I just held one at my home and I want to share with you some of my experiences and the things that I learned. And yes …. my price is firm! (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on homemakers: homes and gardens.)


As young adults, my parents emigrated to Canada, a land of opportunity … a place to work hard and make a good life for themselves and also a family. Although they loved and had a deep attachment to Italy, their country of birth, they were very proud of their adopted homeland.  They felt fortunate that their children could secure a fine education and good jobs in Canada. My parents succeeded and they wished to become Canadian citizens. I was a child when it happened – yet I vividly remember their elation.  (P.S. The only thing that they complained of … was our hard winters.)

In years past, the 1st of July was Dominion Day. It was a big deal. Now it is Canada Day. It is an even bigger deal! Led by festivities in Ottawa, our capital, there are parades, the waving of flags in the hands of young and old alike, cultural shows, fireworks … and further special TV programming … the tops  … first class all the way!  Weather permitting, I usually enjoy an outdoor activity, getting together with family & friends, watching fireworks, etc. –  I really have fun!

Indeed, I am a very proud Canadian. I cheered on Canada’s athletes at the last Winter Olympics, held in Vancouver.  I was so pleased with the performance of my countrymen and women. I got into the spirit of the achievement, both individual and collective.

Update 2012: The big day is next week. I’m checking out the published “in your community” schedules. I plan to attend and participate in at least one event.

Closer to home, my daughter is throwing a Canada Day party.  Now that’s a great idea! We offered some mini Canadian flags as decoration. As well, I am pleased to advise that my granddaughter is to be in a parade this weekend – I’ll be there … I wouldn’t miss it!

As my closing note for this update, I say: “For me, Canada is a land of freedom. The diversity and the many cultures make Canada a very interesting place in which to live.  No matter where I travel, I’m always happy to return home. Canadians are respected worldwide.  I feel so fortunate that I was born in this wonderful country.”

Update 2013: This past Canada’s Day I was in the midst of moving.  After a long day of organizing and storing my stuff, we went out for supper and celebrated Canada’s Day. Hopefully, next year, we’ll be able to enjoy Canada’s Day weekend.

THE AUTHOR: 1) Patricia J Murphy 2) Janet S. Wong

1) Patricia J Murphy

Patricia J Murphy is a children’s writer, communications and marketing consultant. She founded Pattycake Productions, a creative services agency. She has written magazine articles and 150+ children’s books. She has a family and lives in a northern suburb of Chicago, IL, USA. She has won several awards.

2) Janet S. Wong

Janet S. Wong is an author of 23+ books: picture books about family, poetry about yoga and driving, chapter books about friendship, etc.  Her readers go from toddler to adult. She is a speaker at teacher conferences. She lives in Princeton, N.J., U.S.A.



Patricia J Murphy

Some books by Patricia J Murphy are:

  • Think Twice, Be Nice, Rigby Publishing, Division of Reed Elsevier, Barrington, IL, 2001.
  • Sometimes We’re Happy, Sometimes We’re Sad, Rigby Publishing, Division of Reed Elsevier, Barrington, IL, 2001.
  • Let’s See: Voting and Elections, Compass Point Books, Minn., MN, 2001.
  • Let’s See: The Presidency, Compass Point Books, Minn., MN, 2001.
  • Let’s See: The U.S. Congress, Compass Point Books, Minn., MN, 2002.
    Let’s See: The U.S.  Supreme Court, Compass Point Books, Minn, MN, 2002.
    Let’s See: Our National Holidays, Compass Point Books, Minn., MN, 2002.
    Eye Wonder! Rigby Publishing, Divison of Reed Elsevier, Inc., Barrington, IL, 2001.
    Simple Machines, Rosen Real Readers, Rosen Publishing, New York, 2001.
    How a Frog Gets Its Legs, Rosen Real Readers, Rosen Publishing, New York, 2001.
    A Visit to the Art Museum, Rosen Real Readers, Rosen Publishing, Buffalo, NY, 2002.
    Fun with Fractions, Rosen Real Readers, Rosen Publishing, Buffalo, NY, 2002.
    Rookie Read-About Holidays: Canada Day [Paperback]

Janet S. Wong
Some books by Janet S. Wong are:

  • The Trip Back Homne
  • Buzz
  • Twist
  • Behind The Wheel
  • Me and Rolly Maloo
  • Minn and  Jake
  • Before it Wriggles Aw
  • Apple Pie 4th Of July

THE BOOK: 1) Rookie Read-About Holidays: Canada Day [Paperback] by Patricia J Murphy (Author) 2) Apple Pie 4th Of July [Paperback] by Janet S. Wong (Author), Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Illustrator)

1) Rookie Read-About Holidays: Canada Day [Paperback] by Patricia J Murphy (Author)
This book is a primer about Canada Day in printed form. It explains the history, importance, and celebration of this – Canada’s No. 1 holiday.  Such is a tool to informing the reader about Canada Day. The author asks whether you celebrate Canada Day? She prompts the children with words or phrases and images: birthday, Canada’s flag, Canadian Mounties,   celebrate, fireworks, maple leaf, provinces, etc. There is material about: British North America Act. anthem: “O Canada”, etc.  (N.B. The Rookie Books series tries to make its readers more worldly literally and figuratively.)

2) Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet S. Wong (Author), Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Illustrator)

This book informs the readers about the 4th of July – the No. 1 holiday of the United States of America. It is couched in the story of a young girl’s experience as a first-generation Chinese-American. She wants to fit in but anxious about her belief that her immigrant parents don’t understand what it is to be American. She wants all things American like the All-American apple pie being baked by a neighbor.  They have a market, cooking away … Chinese food of course. She thinks this to be a mistake. It’s the 4th …the 4th of July and she has a sense of the holiday- the parade is coming; and she expects that customers would not be interested in Chinese dishes. But all turns out well. Father and Mom knew best! The market was patronized by many fellow Americans in the party mode, … in the mood for Chinese food. The 4th of July is Independence Day and this is for all Americans together! Readers learn about the holiday and also that inclusiveness is good. Chinese Americans are welcome; indeed, fireworks are a big part of the 4th and such was invented by the Chinese!  Illustrations are suited to readers 


I love my country. I look forward to the 1st of July – Canada’s national day. I celebrate it …my way.

Of course, I am aware of the 4th of July – the U.S. national day of independence. I have travelled and enjoyed the festivities along with Americans in the border states. On this day, I wish them the warmest congratulations and a great party.

And I know that people everywhere on the planet celebrate their home and native land on their own national days. To them, I also offer my best wishes and joyful times.

Personal Comments

I say:

  • For me, Canada is the best country in the world.
  • Canada is big and strong.  It has vast stretches of empty land that is absolutely breath taking with beautiful greenery. It is blessed with plenty – natural resources:  timber, wheat, oil, cattle, coal and water (electricity).   Its large economy provides opportunity for its inhabitants. Its trade with the United States is important.  It has brave soldiers in its defense force – they strive for peace not war.  (The United States is probably the most powerful country in the world.  Canada benefits from being its ally and neighbor.  To a certain extent, this makes me feel safe. I admire the United States.)
  • Canada is a place where life is good. I see it as going at a pace that is fast, but still better than that of others. Canada is warm and fuzzy. – it is known to be very generous. Canada has many social programs to take care of people who are less fortunate. Canada is genuinely friendly, multicultural. I am happy to live in Canada.

The Point

For me, patriotism and nationalism are good and a positive!  Everyone should have pride in country and self. Celebrate what has been accomplished to date; and strive to do better in the future.

I encourage everyone to:
1. Be proud of your country: its past, culture and heritage and your people: their good character and generosity;
2. Be aware of your country’s high points like natural resources and also, for balance, areas in need of improvement;
3. Become knowledgeable about the surrounding countries and the rest of the world;
4. Teach the children everywhere about the ideals of humanity, the values of respect and dignity and also that we are each our brother’s keeper;
5. Celebrate your national day with gusto;
6. Make the world a better place for all of mankind!

To all of you … Happy National Day … With love from Canada.

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
P.S. Big News: There are big changes coming to my blog – Please stay tuned.
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*TM/© 2012 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.


S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE #1: Paul Martin & Wyndham Lewis
“The painter, novelist and polemicist [Wyndham Lewis] was born in Canada (aboard his father’s yacht in the Bay of Fundy) and served as a Canadian war artist in the First World War. During the Second World War, the same trick of nationality allowed him to remain in Canada, where he endured considerable poverty while earning the emnity of the few people who tried to help him. 

“When Lewis was living in Windsor, for example, he sought the services of Paul Martin, the politician, in collecting a payment he was owed for a painting. Lewis suggested that he undertake a portrait of Mrs Nell Martin in lieu of legal fees, and her husband agreed.

“The painter and the sitter quarreled, however, particularly over the former’s extreme right-wing political views and vitriolic denunciations of Canada and its inhabitants. Martin recalls him as “a very odd fellow, coming to the house every day but keeping on his galoshes, overcoat and hat while he sketched.

“Martin, who didn’t care for the completed picture, was unaware that in his absence Mrs Martin had agreed to renegotiate the fee to the advantage of Lewis – who then demanded another increase, without which he refused to sign the painting.

“In the Illness of time, Martin has written, ‘the portrait has grown on me … It is still unsigned.”  (Source: Anecdotage) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=2232)

“On July 4th, 1917, the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), having arrived in Europe to join their European allies in World War I, sent a contingent to visit the great Lafayette’s grave in Paris. Colonel Charles Stanton was asked by General Pershing to deliver an address on behalf of the AEF. His speech, in its entirety, is reproduced below: “Lafayette, we are here!” (Source: Anecdotage) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=4348)

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE #3: Brian Williams: July 4th Fireworks
Every year on the 4th of July, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams and his family put on an impressive pyrotechnics display. “We probably set some stuff off that we shouldn’t,” he once confessed. A former firefighter, Williams was well aware of the risks. Indeed, he once recalled a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) film about fireworks. “They showed what an M80 can do to a watermelon. They showed what a sparkler can do a girl’s cotton dress, and as a result I don’t wear those on the 4th of July.”(Source: Anecdotage) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=21582)

S & R* QUOTE #1: Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”  (Source: Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/changegrowth/)

S & R* QUOTE #2: John F. Kennedy

“The only reason to give a speech is to change the world.” (Source: Wisdom Quotes) –   http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/changegrowth/index3.html)

S & R* QUOTE #3: Benjamin Franklin

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”  (Source: Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/changegrowth/index3.html)

For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “Canada’s Day”; “Fourth of July”; “Nationalism”, “Patriotism”,  “Natural Resources”; etc.

Canada’s Day
“Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada), formerly Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire.[1][2][3] Originally called Dominion Day, the name was changed in 1982, the year that Canada gained full independence from the United Kingdom. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as internationally.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_Day

Fourth of July
“Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.[1][2][3]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(United_States)

“Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the ‘modernist’ image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity.[1] There are various definitions for what constitutes a nation, however, which leads to several different strands of nationalism. It can be a belief that citizenship in a state should be limited to one ethnic, cultural or identity group, or that multi nationality in a single state should necessarily comprise the right to express and exercise national identity even by minorities.[2]

It can also include the belief that the state is of primary importance, or the belief that one state is naturally superior to all other states.[3][4] It is also used to describe a movement to establish or protect a ‘homeland’ (usually an autonomous state) for an ethnic group. In some cases the identification of a national culture is combined with a negative view of other races or cultures.[5]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism

“Excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term’s meaning upon context, geography and philosophy, patriotism is a devotion to one’s country. In a generalized sense applicable to all countries and peoples, patriotism is a devotion to one’s country for no other reason than being a citizen of that country.

It is a related sentiment to nationalism, but nationalism is not necessarily an inherent part of patriotism.[1][2][3]

The English term patriot is first attested in the Elizabethan era, via Middle French from Late Latin (6th century) patriota “fellow countryman”, ultimately from Greek πατριώτης (patriōtēs) “fellow countryman”, from πατρίς, “fatherland”.[4] The abstract noun patriotism appears in the early 18th century.[5]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriotism

Natural Resources
“Natural resources occur naturally within environments that exist relatively undisturbed by mankind, in a natural form. A natural resource is often characterized by amounts of biodiversity and geodiversity existent in various ecosystems. Natural resources are derived from the environment. Many of them are essential for our survival while others are used for satisfying our wants. Natural resources may be further classified in different ways.”(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_resource

STUDY/STATISTICS: The Fourth of July 2011
“On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.
2.5 million
In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970
311.7 million
The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth.
Source: Population clock <http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html>
$3.2 million
In 2010, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount
($2.8 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/> <http://www.usatradeonline.gov>
Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2010. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing
$256,407 worth. Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/><http://www.usatradeonline.gov>
$302.7 million
Annual dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers, according to the latest published economic census data.
Source: 2007 Economic Census, Series EC.0731SP1, Products and Services Code 3149998231 <http://www.census.gov/econ/census07/>” (Source: U.S. Census Bureau) – http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/pdf/cb11-ff13_july4th.pdf
“On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million. (Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970). Since then, the population of the United States has grown to over 311 million (estimated population on this July Fourth). Many US residents celebrate the Fourth of July with parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues with friends and relatives. In fact, 81 million Americans reported taking part in a barbecue last year (Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011).”
Source: U.S. Census – stats – http://blogs.census.gov/censusblog/population/

“The Canada 2006 Census counted a total population of 31,612,897, an increase of 5.4 percent since 2001.[152] Population growth is from immigration and, to a lesser extent, natural growth. About four-fifths of Canada’s population lives within 150 kilometres (93 mi) of the United States border.[153] A similar proportion live in urban areas concentrated in the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, the BC Lower Mainland, and the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor in Alberta.[154] In common with many other developed countries, Canada is experiencing a demographic shift towards an older population, with more retirees and fewer people of working age. In 2006, the average age of the population was 39.5 years.”

Name   Province                                           Pop.
Toronto Ontario                                         5,113,149
Kitchener – Waterloo Ontario                        451,235
Montreal Quebec                                       3,635,571
St. Catharines–Niagara Ontario                     390,317
Vancouver British Columbia                        2,116,581
Halifax Nova Scotia                                      372,858
Ottawa–Gatineau Ontario–Quebec              1,130,761
Oshawa Ontario                                           330,594
Calgary Alberta                                         1,079,310
Victoria British Columbia                              330,088
Edmonton Alberta                                     1,034,945
Windsor Ontario                                           323,342
Quebec City Quebec                                    715,515
Saskatoon Saskatchewan                             233,923
Winnipeg Manitoba                                       694,898
Regina Saskatchewan                                  194,971
Hamilton Ontario                                          692,911
Sherbrooke Quebec                                     186,952
London Ontario                                            457,720
St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador           181,113 ”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada

“Canada’s two official languages are English and French. Official bilingualism is defined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Official Languages Act, and Official Language Regulations; it is applied by the Commissioner of Official Languages. English and French have equal status in federal courts, Parliament, and in all federal institutions. Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French, and official-language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all provinces and territories.[172]”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: Generosity is what it means to be Canadian

“When you think of adjectives to describe what Canadians are like, you might come up with words like: humourous, passive, polite, friendly, or bland.

Whether any of that is true, one trait we can take pride in is our generosity. According to the World Giving Index, Canada is the third most generous country in the world out of 153 countries. Canadians donate both of their money and their time, contributing thousands of volunteer hours to help those in need. It is evident that we have impacted millions of lives around the world.

On July 1st, show your Canadian spirit with these activities that help others:

Visit a retirement centre. Get a group of friends together and put on a show. If you can juggle, sing, dance, or make people laugh, use your skill to brighten someone else’s day. Even if you don’t know anyone in particular at the centre, the time you sacrificed to pay a visit will speak volumes to the elderly.

Host a neighbourhood potluck. Swap food, stories, and experiences as you get to know the people and needs in your immediate community.

Serve at a soup kitchen or food bank. Soup kitchens and food banks often have a rush of volunteers at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Canada Day usually isn’t very popular. Don the apron and plastic gloves, leave the diva attitude at the door, and help alleviate hunger this summer.

Think beyond our country. Extreme poverty claims the lives of millions of children and families around the world. Basic essentials like clean water, food, and shelter that we take for granted in Canada are in short supply in developing countries. International children’s charities like Christian Children’s Fund of Canada work in communities to build schools, wells, and health clinics helping the most vulnerable victims of poverty. You can get involved by purchasing life-saving items through the charity’s gift catalogue www.ccfcanada.ca/Gifts. Show victims of poverty that Canadians care.” www.newscanada.com

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: Bake a patriotic pie for Canada Day “Recipe Box:

Pie is a classic dessert serving many traditions all across our country, so why not charm your Canada Day guests with a tribute treat? Serve them a red-and-white cheesecake pie.

In this recipe adorned with a red-berry maple leaf the abundance of seasonal fruit ingredients make it easy to be appreciative of our fertile landscapes. You will also see the trade secrets of corn quality Fleischmann’s corn starch and flavourful Crown corn syrup all of which promise a great taste treat:

Summer Berry Cheesecake Pie

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Bake Time: 30 to 35 minutes

Chill Time: 4 hours

Yield: 8 servings



1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup finely chopped nuts


1/3 cup butter

2 packages (250mL each) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 teaspoons Fleischmann’s Canada Corn Starch

1/2 cup Crown Lily White Corn Syrup

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (250mL) sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar

Fresh berries for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.

For Crust: Combine all crust ingredients in a medium bowl. Firmly press onto the bottom and up sides of a 9-inch/23cm pie plate. Bake 8 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

For Cheesecake: Cook 1/3 cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until butter turns the color of light brown sugar, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Beat cream cheese, brown sugar and corn starch in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in corn syrup, eggs and vanilla. Carefully pour browned butter into cream cheese mixture. Stir until blended. Pour into prepared crust.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until center is almost set. Combine sour cream and sugar. Spread over hot cheesecake. Cool completely on wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. To serve, garnish with fresh berries.

Optional Serving Suggestion: Drizzle each slice with a Raspberry Sauce. To make a Raspberry Sauce, mash 1/2 cup raspberries; stir in 2 tablespoons corn syrup. Cover and chill until ready to serve. For more tasty pie recipes, visit www.achfood.ca” www.newscanada.com

*TM/© 2012 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved

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