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Keeping Manhattan history alive on the 4th of July

Posted: 5:59 PM, Jul 04, 2017
Updated: 2017-07-04 17:59:56-04

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — Besides the picnics and the fireworks, the Fourth of July is also a day to learn more about the founding of this country.

At the New York Historical Society, there was living history Tuesday.  It was military drill with the first Rhode Island Regiment with historical re-enactors portraying the Continental Army's historic "Black regiment."

"This is the first experiment in the world where a country was being independently run by the people," Algernon Ward, dressed as a revolutionary member of the First Rhode Island regiment, told PIX11 News. "It is something we should all celebrate, a world experiment that is still being developed."

They were also crafts for children where they could mix-and-match portraits to create unique Founding Fathers and Mothers.

Other children left wishes they have for their country.

Mom Sofia Hubscher wanted her six-year-old daughter "to be proud of her history as an American."

Her daughter's wish for the country: Be Nice.

"We celebrate this holiday because it took a lot of effort from a lot of people, not just famous Americans like George Washington, but everyday Americans too," Rachel Waldman, the assistant director of the Dimenna Children's Museum, told PIX11. "We were a diverse nation from the very beginning."

At the 9-11 Memorial, small American flags were placed on all 2, 983 names of people killed in the terrorist attacks.

Team Red, White and Blue is now part of this annual tradition.

In Riverside Park, the NYC Raging Grannies and their Daughters were singing their anti-Trump song with friends and organizers reading the new and old Declaration of Independence.

"This year, for the first time, in my opinion, there's a clear and present danger that the president and his administration are not following the principles and values embodied in the constitution," civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel told PIX11 News.

No matter what your politics are, the Fourth of July is a day to celebrate our country.