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