FOURTH OF JULY FOLLIES: 240 years of stories to warm the heart

America’s birthday!
Fireworks galore.
The United States..
240 more.

On holidays like today, traditions reign supreme. Cookouts are the thing. Americana, right?
Though yesterday I read an interesting LA TIMES editorial piece describing how, according to the author, barbecues have been ruined by vegetarians and lactose, or wheat intolerant guests. Everything is touchy, now. Including big fires to cook slabs of meat.

Along with that, we always seem to be more divided by the day. Or at least that is what the media tells us. A few days ago on this site, I wrote about how we really were always divided, always uncivil, and often much worse in history compared to modern day life.

All that being said, there are traditions and beliefs when it comes to the Fourth of July.

How many of those beliefs are incorrect, however? How many are just extended by people to live longer through history despite the fact they are factually wrong?


America’s independence was actually declared by the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776.. just took two more before an act of Congress justified the paperwork done on the 2nd. It took several more weeks for news to spread around the colonies. London did not find out until the end of August that year.

Most delegates signed the Declaration of Independence a month later on August 2.

The Liberty Bell was not made right, therefore the crack. It didn’t ring in freedom. It probably never did much at all besides eventually become a symbol for abolitionists in Pennsylvania and therefore freedom around the nation .. But it’s sure a good story.

And Betsy Ross? She probably did not sew the first flag. But if you go to her house near Philadelphia, you can hear lots of old fun tales of her heroic nature and how she communicated directly with General George Washington.

But all those myths aside, there is still something mighty special about the Fourth of July. Something very nostalgic kicks in.. with each burst of bright fireworks in the sky, the years are notated by the mind and a sense of ideal is born in your heart..

And then it’s the Fifth of July before you know it.

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