In a Livable Community, Every Day Can Be an Independence Day

On Monday, we — as a nation — celebrated the 240th Anniversary of Independence Day. Many of us turned on our grills, took in a parade, watched fireworks or spent the day with family and friends. Where and how we celebrated is in many ways emblematic of our freedom to choose our own path. Each Fourth of July, I spend some time thinking about the people who came before me and those who have fought for and protected the freedoms we …

Why Not a Summer Salute to Black History?

This salute is extremely late. I don’t mean late for Memorial Day or even Black History Month. I mean this salute — to black soldiers who fought in the Civil War — is more than 150 years late. But so was America’s salute. That’s because, according to historians, the U.S. Colored Troops, who fought bravely and sacrificially in the Civil War for our freedom from slavery, were not allowed to participate in the Grand Review Parade of 1865. That was …

5 Fashion Fireworks for July Fourth

I live in suburbia — home to barbecues and book clubs, malls and multiplexes, country clubs, cul-de-sacs and Costcos the size of Connecticut. The occupants of those precincts will be out in force this Saturday, as SUVs all over town disgorge 50-plus types eager to communally celebrate our national birthday. (Cause to feel festive: We’re only 239 years old!) Whether you’re an empty nester, a “Glam-ma” or a dating divorcee rocking ankle tattoos, statement glasses and a monster-size handbag, you …

4 Tips for a Happy Road Trip

With AAA forecasting that 41.9 million of us will hit the highways over the July 4th weekend, findings from a new AARP Travel survey prove that the old-fashioned road trip remains prized by travelers 45 and older. More than 70 percent of those surveyed said driving is still their preferred way to go, according to AARP’s research. A majority reported that they plan to take three such trips a year. Why are roads all the rage? Respondents said they take to the highway when they want a …

Five Good Reasons to Celebrate the Fourth of July

Can you imagine the looks on their faces in the audience when abolitionist Frederick Douglass, speaking at a commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, asked the question, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?” Visit AARP Black Community >> Many historians proclaim that speech of July 5, 1852, called “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro,” to have been among Douglass’ greatest orations. Pointing out the hypocrisy of owning slaves while celebrating independence, …

4 Explosive Facts About July 4th

What’s not to like about the Fourth of July? For most of us, it’s a holiday, meaning that it’s a day of play instead of a day of work. And then there’s all the fun stuff associated with Independence Day: fireworks, parades, picnics and barbecues, fairs, carnivals, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies. What other day of the year has all that? >> Healthy Fourth of July Recipes Unfortunately, however, there are a few less-than-dandy things …