By Kevin Harvison
Lions Club Program Chairman Lance Woodliff congratulates McAlester Lions Club member Tom Crowl following Crowl's presentation July 3 about the history of the July 4 Independence Day holiday. Crowl said he aimed for a "red, white and blue" program and told the noon gathering of Lions the holiday was first recognized just one year following the signing of the Declaration of Independence. However, the term "Independence Day" didn't come along until 1791. The day was a holiday for federal employees as early as 1870, but didn't become an official national holiday until 1941. Crowl challenged the group to remember that "The battle for freedom is here, and it is ongoing. Go out tomorrow and shoot some fireworks. Go out to the Expo Center. Have fun, but keep in mind why you celebrate this day...this liberty, this independence, this freedom is a fragile commodity." He also urged the service group to become "dinner table historians," to pass on lessons of American history to the younger generation. McAlester Lions Club meets weekly at noon at The Meeting Place.