Happy Birthday America!

Yes, that’s right. July 2nd. And I’m singing Happy Birthday. You’ll all recall that the Continental Congress actually declared independence on July 2nd here in Philadelphia (Bring it Philly!). John Adams wrote this in his journal:

“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.”

–John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776

Oh, John, who would blame you for being off a couple days in your prediction? What passion! Well, it would be two days later that the Congress finally ratifies the declaration and makes it “official.” Hurray! Long live liberty!

So I thought I’d link to that annual NPR reading of the Declaration of Independence. Here. Since the 4th falls on a Saturday this year, I figure that many of us won’t be awake early that morning to hear this year’s version of it. So hear it today (yes, it gets a tad boring, you don’t really have to listen to all 8 minutes, but boy, those first two paragraphs still kind of choke me up.)

I am very excited to hang the flag with pride again. It’s been a long time since I felt any excitement in hanging the flag out on Independence Day. But not this Saturday. I’m absolutely giddy. Go hang your flags people! And have fun solemnizing with your shews, guns and illuminations! Happy Independence Day!

PS. Just because it was so funny when Dave posted this a couple years ago, I post it again. The video that keeps on giving:


8 responses to “Happy Birthday America!”

  1. lane says:

    i was suckered by the line “he was six foot eight” he wasn’t really, but he was considered “a giant” in his day.

    i found this . . .

    “Washington’s commanding appearance always inspired trust and admiration from those around him; as much as any other President, he had the elusive quality of charisma. When he was 27, a fellow member of the Virginia House of Burgesses described him as “straight as an Indian, measuring 6’2″ in his stockings and weighing 175 1bs.” This estimate may have been conservative: After Washington’s death, his private secretary claimed that he measured the body and found it to be 6′ 3 1/2″ tall. Whatever his actual height, Washington was always considered a giant, and his body remained sinewy and strong, never exceeding 200 1bs. in weight. His massive frame supported enormous hands that required specially-made gloves and feet that called for size 13 boots. His cool, steady, blue-gray eyes, recalling in Emerson’s phrase, “an ox gazing out of a pasture,” furthered the impression of massive strength. An attack of smallpox when he was 18 had left his skin pockmarked, but it also left him immune to the disease that later ravaged his Continental Army.”

    great clip! . . .

  2. g.a. says:

    [chirp chirp]

    Wow. Flag waving already? I guess I’m reserving judgment.

    But that video … thanks for that. I guess I wasn’t around when it was posted here before.

  3. LP says:

    Shews! Games! Bells! Bonfires!

    I am ready for some BBQ, people. Bust out the sparklers and the PBR!

  4. lane says:

    2. yeah seriously . . .

    this actually brings up an interesting point.

    the pledge and the flag in general, at Jasper’s pre- K graduation, actually made me kind of sick this year. How far we’ve fallen since Sept. 2001, when everyone in the room would have teared up.

    I was much happier when the nationalist part of the program ended and they started waving rainbow flags and singing “we love everyone.”

    Seriously, I used to frickin’ LOVE this country. But I’m not so in love anymore . . . alas . . .

  5. Stella says:

    the poor british children. just wait till murray kicks roddick’s independent bottom today.

  6. swells says:

    I am hoping that Palin’s resignation is the greatest birthday gift this nation could have!

  7. lane says:

    wow, swells! this is news! first MJ and now this!

  8. Jake Dugas says:

    brad neely did a good one on JFK too

    check it history lesson