Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 236th Birthday, America!

Holy crap on a cracker, how did it become July already?! I'm a bit baffled as to how it showed up, because it just can't be here already.

Being that tomorrow (Wednesday) is July 4th and is a national holiday here in the USA (our Independence Day), the Sticksville clinic will be closed, so to make my week even weirder, we were open all day today (Tuesday). The fact that the 4th falls in the middle of the week is nearly a national crisis because nobody knows when to take their vacations. Nor do towns know which weekend they should do fireworks. And before you ask, no, not every town does fireworks on the 4th. Redding always does theirs on the 4th, but up here in the sticks, some towns have had weekend long celebrations for over 60 years - so their fireworks won't be until the 7th. Weird. Really, we should just call the whole freaking week a holiday and have fireworks every night. Who's with me?

Being that tomorrow is my nation's biggest holiday (seriously, you do not want to know how many hot dogs and beers will be consumed before fireworks commence - okay, it's roughly 150 million hot dogs. Makes me ill to imagine that many hot dogs . . . ), I thought I'd share with y'all a few facts about America's Independence:

~ The 4th of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence - it was initially adopted on the 2nd of July, but the revised version was adopted two days later.

~ The Declaration of Independence was written chiefly by Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, and consulted mostly with John Adams. The two men were political rivals and disliked each other until they were retired old men, when they became the best of friends. Oddly enough, our second (Adams) and third (Jefferson) Presidents died only hours apart on July 4th, 1826 in different states. Sadly, just before Adams passed away, he said "Thomas Jefferson still survives." Unbeknownst to Adams, Jefferson had passed on just hours before.

~ A third President, James Monroe, also died on July 4th in 1831.

~ July 4th was celebrated by both sides in our Civil War, 1861-1865.

~ President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4th, 1872.

~ The "Star Spangled Banner" didn't become our national anthem until 1931.

~ The 50-star flag we use today was actually designed by an Ohio high school student. Poor kid received a B- for his class project. He then sent his design to President Eisenhower for consideration and a change of grade. Eisenhower chose the design, and the kid was given an A instead.

~ Though the Declaration of Independence was adopted in July, not all 56 signers signed on July 4th. The official event was August 2, 1776. John Hancock was actually the only one to sign his "John Hancock" on July 4th.

~ On July 4th, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson announced the Louisiana Purchase - which was a huge chunk of land that encompassed much of the Midwest. On July 4th in 1805, exlporers Lewis and Clark took time off to celebrate the 4th after a hard day of lugging their canoes around the Great Falls of the Missouri River, in what is today Montana.

~ The 4th of July wasn't a national holiday until 1941.

~ Roughly 1 out of 4 Americans don't know the country from which we gained our Independence. (Are you effing kidding me?!) In a 2010 poll, 74% said England/Great Britain, 20% were unsure, and 6% named other countries. Obviously this does not speak well of our education system. Of course, there are a good number of people that can't get the number of States right (it's 50 in case anyone was curious. Evidently either people forget Hawaii and Alaska because they're not joined contintentally (a word I just made up), or they add in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands or something. Or they're making up states as they go along.)

~ July 4th is also Rwanda's Independence day, and oddly enough it's also the day the Philippines gained Independence from, of all places, America.

~ The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the USA is in Bristol, Rhode Island; having thrown a celebration every year since 1785.

~ Two of America's greatest national symbols were made overseas. The Liberty Bell (in Philadelphia) was cast in England, and the Statue of Liberty was crafted in France.

There ya have it folks. A wee bit of a history lesson. And not only for those who don't live here . . . because it's obvious that Americans don't always know their own history . . . lol For my American followers, have a happy and safe 4th!!


  1. Happy Independence Day! I wonder if they'll put National Treasure or Independence Day on tv this week lol!

    That's awesome about the student designing the flag and getting a change of grade - bet the teacher was embarrassed!

    And it doesn't surprise me that many Americans don't know how many states there are - most people don't know their own country's history!

    1. Haha! I should watch it - lots of good US history in there! Well, they should at least know how many states there are. That's just basic knowledge in my opinion. lol

  2. I did not know some of these. Seriously. Such great fun facts. Being the the 3rd is so huge in our area, and then the actual town does fireworks/parades on the 4th, tourists are in town for the week. When the come for the weekend or just the two days they help the economy, eat out, and an occasional stop at the local stores for impulse buys. When they come for the week, they wipe out every shelf at the grocery store (really there's not a banana in sight and on Monday there was only 4 bags of smart food left) wander through local stores from boredom, and tie up traffic.

    I am SO COMPLETELY ready for them to go home now. IT's so much better when it falls on the weekend.

    1. I didn't know a few either, or had simply forgotten over time.

      And I agree about tourists; they are great for a couple days, but they wear out their welcome very quickly! lol

  3. No surprise about the educational system or parents, I have some kids that don't know how to read time on a clock, wtf? LIked the tidbits of history, good post J Day. Hope you had a great 4th :)

    1. They should never have invented the digital clock. Seriously.


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