Did you know? Calvin Coolidge was born July 4, 1872 John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died July 4, 1826 James Monroe died July 4, 1836 THE STARS AND STRIPES For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation's strength and unity. It's been a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens. And the American Flag has been a prominent icon in our national history. Here are the highlights of its unique past. On January 1, 1776, the Continental Army was reorganized in accordance with a Congressional resolution which placed American forces under George Washington's control. On that New Year's Day the Continental Army was laying siege to Boston which had been taken over by the British Army. Washington ordered the Grand Union flag hoisted above his base at Prospect Hill. It had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton). In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she sewed the first American flag. On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation." Between 1777 and 1960, Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state. Act of January 13, 1794 - provided for 15 stripes and 15 stars after May 1795. Act of April 4, 1818 - provided for 13 stripes and one star for each state, to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state, signed by President Monroe. Executive Order of President Taft dated June 24, 1912 - established proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward. Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated January 3, 1959 - provided for the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically. Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated August 21, 1959 - provided for the arrangement of the stars in nine rows of stars staggered horizontally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically. Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice. Celebrate fourth of July with a bang! Dress up a simple sheet cake in stars and stripes with satiny frosting and sweet berries for a patriotic salute that's never tasted so sweet. This couldn't be any easier-you buy the cake mix-read the back of the packet then jazz it up with cream, strawberries and blueberries and robert is indeed your mothers brother. INGREDIENTS & EQUIPMENT Margarine Flour One package (2 layer size) white cake mix (plus ingredients to make the cake - listed on the box) One package (4 serving size) JELL-O gelatin, any red flavor 1 cup boiling water cup cold water 3 cups (8 ounce container) Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed 1 pint strawberries, washed and sliced 1 cup blueberries, washed 1 cup Kraft miniature marshmallows 13 x 9-inch baking pan Large fork (two-pronged type) Medium mixing bowl Measuring cups Rubber scraper or large spoon Large tray or cutting board (this must be larger than the baking pan) Table knife Aluminum foil and star-shaped stickers (optional) METHOD Grease the 13 x 9-inch pan with margarine and dust lightly with flour. Prepare and cook cake mix according to package directions. Cool cake for fifteen minutes. Use the large fork to make holes in the cake about every 1/2 inch. Pour gelatin into the mixing bowl. Add the cup of boiling water and use the scraper to thoroughly mix it until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Use the measuring cup to scoop out the gelatin and pour it over the cake. (It will run down into the holes, making the cake have pretty red stripes.) Put the cake into the refrigerator and let it chill for 3 to 4 hours. Use this time to cover your tray with aluminum foil if you wish. Once the cake is on the tray, you can decorate the sides with the star stickers. Put about one inch of warm water in the kitchen sink. Take pan out of refrigerator and dip just the bottom (don't let the water come up over the sides) into the water for about ten seconds. Put the large tray on top of the cake and hold on tightly! An adult needs to help with this part. Turn the cake over so that the tray is on bottom and the pan is on top. Take the pan off. The cake should be resting on the tray. Frost the sides and top with whipped topping. Arrange the strawberries, blueberries, and marshmallows on the cake so that it looks like a flag. (You should have rows of red and white stripes and the blue "background" of blueberries in the upper left hand corner.) Put cake into the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it! AND FINALLY... I want to wish you all a HAPPY FOURTH. I'd like to tell you now Get a pencil; write this down I'm gonna tell you how. Pass it on to all your friends Just tell them what you heard. The way to have a happy FOURTH Is buy a FIFTH on the THIRD! CHEF GILLIGAN