Be a Signer - Add Your Name to a Copy of the Declaration of Independence

The Fourth of July, a.k.a. Independence Day, a.k.a. July 4th, is the day we celebrate our freedom and commemorate the birth of our great Nation. So, given the chance, would you, knowing you’d be a traitor to Great Britain, have signed the Declaration of Independence? Would you have taken the chance?

My Copy of the Declaration of Independence
Credit: Southerngirl09

The Declaration of Independence, adopted by our Founding Fathers on July 4, 1776, marks a major milestone in the history of the United States of America. And now, courtesy of a computer program from the United States National Archives’ website, you can join all those other brave American patriots and add your signature beside theirs. 

So let’s talk about a unique and fun 4th of July party idea. Offer your guests the opportunity to choose whether they’d like to add their signature alongside the signatures of those courageous patriots who were Declaration of Independence signers. This Independence Day, give your guests a party favor which allows them to ponder the true magnitude of our freedom and the sacrifices made by those first patriots – our Founding Fathers. Remember: “Freedom is Never Free.”

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Fun Party Ideas for the 4th of July

There are many fun party ideas for the Fourth of July, but if you’re going to structure your July 4th event around your guests and you being Declaration of Independence signers, then you need to consider staging your festivity in a way that you can provide everyone easy access to a computer and printer. And while you can buy many unique party favors, having your guests take home their own copy of the Declaration of Independence, complete with their signature, trumps anything purchased from a party store. So after you’ve set up a central location for the computer and printer, then you need to figure out your Fourth of July menu, decorations, and activities.

4th of July Food

When it comes to the eats and treats for your celebration, you have several options once you’ve planned your menu. You can either buy your food already prepared from stores like Costco or your favorite grocery store, you can make all your own dishes, or you can do a combination both. Tastes change from family to family, but generally speaking, this is roughly how your Independence Day menu may shape up:

Appetizers, Sides, and Such
Chips, dips, and salsa are standard fare whatever the occasion. But since summer is garden season, consider making a refreshing salad using all your own fresh veggies and herbs. Or arrange a fruit platter with watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, fresh pineapple, etc. And don’t forget those all-time favorite side dishes like Southern baked beans, deviled eggs, and macaroni salad.

Nowadays, grilling and July 4th just seem to go together. And the old standards are still grilled hotdogs, hamburgers, steaks, ribs, and chicken. My, I’m getting hungry! You can also think outside the box, or the grill, as it is, and think of grilling veggies, like corn still in its husk, and seafood.

But what about if you’re not into grilling? Well, your food options are as unlimited as your culinary imagination. Make the entrée portion of your party simple by purchasing an already cooked, and always yummy, rotisserie chicken; this is especially good, too, if your family and/or group prefers to steer clear of the traditional fried variety.

Well, it just wouldn’t be a party without a selection of yummy desserts. Let your guests declare their independence by providing them with a smorgasbord of delectable delights from which to choose. Some personal favorites are: Pineapple Southern Pound Cake, peanut butter cookies, Chocolate Sheet Cake, and, of course, who can resist homemade ice cream in any flavor.

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And since holidays are all about family, work with your child(ren) to make my Easy Kid Recipes – Chocolate Eclair Dessert; this treat is another crowd pleaser.

It’s a summer celebration, and that typically means it’s hot, hot, hot. Always serve plenty of water. But along with the water, you’ll want other offerings on hand for your guests. Think fruit juices and my personal favorites: Southern Sweet Tea, lemonade, and limeade.

As always, never forget food safety as related to keeping foods such as appetizers, entrées, desserts, and beverages at the appropriate temperature. Remember the old saying: “Keep it hot or keep it cold or don’t keep it at all.”  

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Party Decorating Ideas and Activities for Your 4th of July Party

 Fife and Drummers Collectors PlateCredit: Southerngirl09Whether you’re hosting a Fourth of July picnic or an indoor event, Independence Day decorations revolve around The Flag of the United States. Show your pride and your love of America by displaying the US Flag anywhere and everywhere. Let the United States Stars and Stripes be the focal point of your party decorations. And again, you can get the youngest of the crowd involved with patriotic crafts for kids. Lead the children in creating Fifes and Drummers costumes, and help them to understand the important role these young people played in the American Revolution.

And after partaking of all those July 4th goodies, rally the troops and get active. Being together, building memories, and celebrating the birth of our Nation is key. Pitch some horseshoes or discover the competitive fun of some other outdoor games. And when the sun goes down, lead family and friends indoors for a rousing game night.

Caution: If you’re into fireworks, I would suggest, for the safety of all your guests and yourself, that you go to a professional show to view them. As much as you might would like to put on a fireworks display for your family and friends, your family and friends wouldn’t want you to take the chance of you getting hurt. Fireworks, while beautiful and exciting, can be dangerous, and they should be left to the professionals.


In Closing

You, too, can be one of the Declaration of Independence signers. Once you and your guests are ready to add your signatures to this document, you can access the program at “The Charters of Freedom United States National Archives” (1), and then simply follow the National Archives’ easy directions. First, you’ll select whether you wish to print your copy in black and white or color. Next, you’ll read a short introduction. Then, you’ll select which style you’d prefer to use for your signature – “Colonist,” “American,” or “Patriot.” Once you select your font, you’ll type your name, and the following words will appear on the next screen:

Are you sure you want to sign the Declaration of Independence?

If you had been a member of the Second Continental Congress in 1776, you were a rebel and considered a traitor by the King. You knew that a reward had been posted for the capture of certain prominent rebel leaders and the largest British armada ever assembled was just outside New York harbor. Affixing your name to the document meant that you pledged your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor to the cause of freedom.”(2)

Once you add your signature to this historical document, you are, in effect, committing treason against Great Britain, and your name will now appear alongside great signers like John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson.

Happy 4th of July, and God Bless America. Show your patriotism and love for your Country by signing your name to a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Happy Birthday USA!