brett’s morning blend: a july 4th primer


Independence Day is tomorrow.  And this post is all you really need in order to prepare for the big day.  

(above image courtesy of mindless drivel)

But before we bring in the link love, let me ask this question in hopes that one of you out there has an answer:  

Why do we prefer to call Independence Day by it’s calendar date, July 4th?  As far as I can remember we don’t do this with any other holiday except Cinco de Mayo — and let’s be honest, that’s just an excuse for Americans to drink Mexican beer.  [How many of us have ever even heard of The Battle of Puebla?  Though be sure of this; I’m just as happy as the next guy to celebrate a defeat of the French army, no matter the date.]

So, if you’ve got an answer to my question — or are even willing to venture a guess — please offer it in the comments section.  Why do we say The Fourth of July instead of Independence Day?

And now the links:

9 Fourth of July Myths Debunked

The Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4, 1976; it was not signed on any July 4th for that matter.  Also, Paul Revere didn’t make his much celebrated ride alone.  [You can find the actual happenings of that ride at The Paul Revere House.  Though I prefer the rendering that begins, “Now here’s a little story I’ve got to tell, about three bad brothers you know so well…”]  I digress.  So… the myths debunked at this site are pretty interesting.

Fourth of July — Helpful Figures

This infographic contains some very useful, interesting, and totally true facts about Independence Day.  My favorite:

The most popular Fourth of July tradition is fireworks,
used to commemorate the Founding Fathers’
famed disregard for the environment.

The History of Fireworks

This article’s honestly not all that interesting — fireworks are one of the many things in life that are truly exciting to experience, but silly to attempt to describe (especially in writing).  In this way fireworks are not at all unlike the beautiful scenery you saw on family vacation or the food you enjoy so much at dinner.  [This is just one of the reasons I can’t get behind the popular use of Facebook status updates and Twitter.  I find your 140-character description of what you’re eating about as interesting as you telling me “the fireworks were really AWESOME, like blue and red and exploding in the sky.”]  Anyway, if you’re interested in the history of fireworks, this link will suit you.  I mainly included it because fireworks have to be mentioned in a 4th of July primer.  And it’s kind of wierd that a fireworks magazine even exists.

The Foods of July 4th

You’ve probably already got a menu for your Independence Day get-together, but in case you’re curious, Americans are 540% more likely to eat potato salad tomorrow than on any other day.  

Top 10 Tips for Better Burgers

I figure at least half of us will eat burgers on the morrow.  Might as well read this tutorial and make them better than you did last year.

Top 10 Movies for the Fourth

Looking for a patriotic film?  Check out the above list.  What’s that?  You say you really wanted a list which includes To Kill a Mockingbird (because we all know Atticus Finch is Chuck Norris with impeccable morals and a law school education)?  Oh, then you’ll want to use this other list of top 10  movies to watch on July 4th.

Who’s Coming to America?

On this Fourth of July, you really ought to know who intends to take over our country.  And this infographic will tell you.

What Else Happened on July 4th?

Related to the initial question in this post, if we’re going to insist on calling Independence Day by its more generic month-and-date moniker, we ought to at least acknowledge that much more happened on this date in history than fireworks and hamburgers.  Did you know that on July 4th…

    • the Louisiana Purchase was announced to the American people (1803)?
    • Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within hours of one another (1826)?
    • The Philippines gained full independence from the United States (1946)?  [That’s right, it’s not just our independence day.]
    • Calvin Coolidge (1872), Ann Landers (1918), and Koko the sign-language gorilla (1971) were all born into our world?

What are you going to eat tomorrow?  Will you shoot off fireworks?  Do you call it July 4th, The Fourth of July, Independence Day, Koko’s birthday, or Ode to Grilled Meat?

Have a great Fourth, everyone. 

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12 Comments

Filed under holidays, morning blend

12 responses to “brett’s morning blend: a july 4th primer

  1. it’s one syllable shorter?

    • holly, so far you’re in the lead for today’s “best answer” award. and it’s not simply because you’re the only contestant. or… well, maybe it is.

  2. David Watson was also born on the Fourth of July!

  3. those myths were very interesting. I was born on July 5, so I loved it as a kid whenever it rained on Independence day and the fireworks were moved to my birthday. I also developed a joke that annoyed my mom – whenever someone asked my birthday they’d say in response “almost a firecrack baby” and I’d say “instead I was just a crack baby.”

  4. Jason Miller

    We say July 4th instead of Independence Day for two completely unrelated reasons, one ancient (for Americans) and one modern.

    The first reason, and the ancient American one, is because the founding fathers wanted to eschew (probably a word they would have used) the use of English as much as possible (you know, a language strike against their former oppressors) and use instead the Arabic numbers we’ve inherited from that language.

    Hmmm. Ahem.

    And #2. That stupid movie where the White House gets blown up by aliens. No one wants to have any part of that.

  5. I’m not certain about why the numerical naming of the day but I’m certain it has something to do with the Templars. Perhaps Dan Brown has an answer in an upcoming book with more conspiracy theories about the founding fathers. Or maybe, in the next National Treasure movie, Nicholas Cage will discover the answer in some moldy, ancient tome hidden in a secret compartment in the base of the statue at the Jefferson Memorial.
    And… “Atticus Finch is Chuck Norris with impeccable morals and a law school education” awesome. There’s no other word for it–just like fireworks!

  6. Pingback: a question concerning the nature of freedom | aliens and strangers

  7. Pingback: a question concerning the nature of freedom | aliens and strangers

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