Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Word About Independence Day

The Fourth of July is an important day for Americans, but sometimes we forget exactly what we're celebrating. Jay Leno presented some particularly horrific examples of this forgetfulness on his "Jay-Walking" segment last Friday (June 29th). Granted, if you go out on the street recording answers to "Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July?" and air the worst answers you find, you get to hear some truly awful ignorance, but here's a more common mistake.

Some people think of the Fourth of July, 1776, as the day on which the United States gained their independence from England. That's totally wrong.

July 4, 1776, is the day on which our ancestors publicly announced that we were going to fight for our independence. It took years of war to actually win it.

It's ironic that on that day, King George III, unaware of what was happening across the Atlantic Ocean, wrote in his diary that “Nothing of great importance happened today.”

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