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The 4th of July! Why does it have such a ring to it? Or should I say BOOM to it?

August 2nd? No ring.

2nd of July? No boom.

“It was the 3rd of June, another sleepy dusty Delta day …” That has some twang.

“It was the 3rd of September. That day I’ll always remember …” That has some soul.

Perhaps you prefer to call it Independence Day.

Funny thing is, even the Founding Fathers didn’t call it anything when George Washington threw the quarter across the Potomac River that chopped down that Cherry Tree. Wait, wrong story.

Oddly, George Washington did not sign the Declaration of Independence. As commanding general of the Continental Army, he was unable to be there. General Washington had the Declaration read to his assembled troops on July 9 in New York, where they awaited the combined British fleet and army.

If you haven’t already read Founding Father, John Adams’ July 3, 1776 letter to his wife Abigail, here’s an excerpt (1):

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

Pretty cool, huh? Let’s have an Epocha today! But can you imagine Thomas Jefferson’s surprise at Adams choice of July 2 for the celebration? Here’s how I envision this conversation going down.

Thomas Jefferson (TJ): Uh Johnny A, I thought we agreed on the Fourth of July.

John Adams (JA): Yeah, but Abigail liked the second.

TJ: Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. What Abby likes ain’t no thing. The second of July gots no ring. Can’t wear that red, white, and blue bling.

JA: Tommy can you hear me? It’s 1776. There be-ist no rap yet.

TJ: And there also be-ist no overpriced craft beer either, but thine cousin, Sam Adams worketh the barley and hops when he’s not trying to find his father.

JA: Hath thou checked out his brew, yet?

TJ: I have and here’s a hint for Sammy. Splashest some lemon in it and call it Summer Ale.

JA: Great idea, Tommy. And I agree, the Fourth of July it will be.

TJ: Word to Abby.

And that’s the story of why we are not celebrating Independence Day today, July 2nd.

So, here’s some interesting 4th of July fun facts:

Independence as formally declared on July 2, 1776. On July 4, the Continental Congress formally approved the final text of the Declaration of Independence. However, the document was actually signed by most of the delegates later, on August 2nd, 1776.

In 1778, George marked the 4th of July with a double ration of rum for the fighting boys.

Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the 4th of July in 1826, fifty years after 1776. James Monroe, the 5th President died in 1831 on the 4th of July

Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President was born on the 4th of July.

Lou Gehrig’s “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man alive” speech was on the 4th of July in 1939.

Nathan’s Hot Dogs began an eating contest in 1972 on the 4th of July.

The vast majority of US Flags are “Made in China.” Think that one over.

So enjoy the celebration of Independence Day in America. (Or do you call it July 4th?)

Cook a burger, fry a hot dog, have a slice of apple pie, tip a beverage.

Just take a moment to remember the bold courage of our founding fathers oh so many years ago.

Me, I’ll be making a milkshake.

FOOTNOTE: (1) Here’s a link to the National Park Service Website that tells the whole story: http://www.nps.gov/foju/historyandculture.htm

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