Segreto Goes to Washington DC for the 4th!

Jul 03, 2023

HI friends, I hope you are celebrating with fireworks, barbeques and have all your tablescapes in red, white and blue this 4th of July to celebrate America’s Independence from Britian!!! Our wood finishes team has just come back from McLean Virginia, a charming town right out of Washington DC and have gotten to see so many of our nation’s historic sites for the first time. I want to share a bit of history about Washing DC. and the signers of our Declaration of Independence, using the pictures of Washington DC my crew sent me during their trip.

White House Facts!

Herbert Hoover and John Quincy Adams had pet alligators in the White House.  

President Jimmy Carter set a record by watching 480 movies in the White House movie theater.

The British burned the original White House in 1814 after U.S. forces set fire to Canada’s parliament. The famous Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington was saved by a fleeing Dolley Madison (with some help), and some exterior stone walls survived the fire- and that is it!

Years after the Declaration of Independence was drafted, three founding fathers and former presidents, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe, died on July 4th. Jefferson and Adams passed on the 50th anniversary of the country in 1826 and Monroe in 1831.

Artemio took some of his team to Saint James Catholic Church while they were away. America’s Founders wanted people to be able to worship at their church of choice. Jefferson’s phrase “separation of church and state” comes from an 1802 letter by President Thomas Jefferson.

DC stands for District of Columbia, and it was deemed so to honor the famed explorer, Christopher Columbus. who knew?

Washington DC gets 2 inches more rain than Seattle Washington! Also, more wine is drunk per capita in Washington DC than any other US state.

In 1778 it was said that George Washington gave his solders a double ration of rum for a celebratory salute to the 4th of July! In 2016 on July 4th, Americans consumed the most amount of beer in recorded in one day and about 150 hotdogs!!

Fireworks date back as a tradition of Independence Day as early as the first anniversary in 1777. Today, fireworks displays around the country echo Adams’ call for “bonfires and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” Today Americans spend over one billion dollars in fireworks annually!

Benjamin Franklin, at 70 was the oldest person to sign the Declaration of Independence and Edward Rutledge, at 26 was the youngest. The average age was. 45!

In 1958, a history teacher assigned his class to redesign the national flag when Alaska and Hawaii were becoming a state. 16-year-old Robert Heft designed a new flag using the old 48-star flag and $2.87 worth of blue cloth and white iron-on material. Although his teacher only gave him a B- Robert sent his prototype to President Dwight D. Eisenhower to get his thoughts. His designed was picked and is the flag we pledge to today!!

Benjamin Franklin was not allowed to write the Declaration of Independence because everyone thought that he’d try to slip a joke into the document.

In 1776 there were 2.5 million people living in the US. Today, more than 314 million people in the United States. And I thought Segreto had grown!!

Although the technology has changed, Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a small writing desk that could fit in your lap. Back in the day, this was called a laptop! Thomas Jefferson thought the Declaration of Independence should be re-written every 12 years!

John Locke influenced the belief that all humans had equal natural rights and the political leaders at the time believed in this idea of human equality. The Declaration stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The nature of the political regime was then shaped by this idea of natural human equality.

James Madison, America’s fourth President (1809-1817) was the smallest president ever. He was 5-foot-4, 100 pounds, but of course better know for his contribution to the ratification of the Constitution by writing The Federalist Papers, along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In later years, he was referred to as the “Father of the Constitution.”

When George Washington found a lost dog during the battle of Germantown, he returned the dog across enemy lines to the dog’s owner, his opponent from the battle, General Howe.

During the 100 days it took to write the U.S. Constitution, delegates took only 10 days off, working six days a week, for more than three months, they debated, discussed and voted in a sweltering room. That is dedication!!

There are miles of underground tunnels never seen by the public beneath the capital for senators and members of the House. If you are one of the normal folks, the subway has a weekday passenger list of over 9 million people-only second to New York City!!

Here is Segreto’s team of 10 who made the trip on phase one!! Thank you to designer Rina Yan, builder Peterson + Collins, and our sweet client who welcomed us with open arms to her beautiful home outside of our nation’s capital. It has been so much fun and our great honor!! I hope everyone has a great 4th of July and celebrates our nation with pride!! Enjoy some past entertaining tips here, here, here, and here. Till next time! XO, Leslie

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