The 4th of July. Independence Day. It’s a time for fireworks, hotdogs, buns, grass, old memories, new memories, flags, freedom, big-band marches, declarations, independence, imagining what founding fathers looked like without their wigs, and, probably, an incredibly busy day for both the burn units and the limb-reattachment units of local hospitals. There’s a lot of stuff we know about Independence Day. And some of what you think you know is wrong! Cue “Jaws” music. Did you know nearly all varieties of apples are indigenous to... Europe? “As American as apple pie” actually means exactly the opposite. Examples: “That African drum circle is as American as apple pie.” “Alex Trebek is as American as apple pie.” There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the actual Declaration of Independence. Thanks for nothing, John Hancock. Just kidding. If it weren’t for John Hancock, we’d never be able to say, “I need your John Hancock right here.” Anyway, the vote that enacted the Declaration of Independence took place on July 2nd. The declaration itself was published in the newspaper on July 4th. So if you thought the media dictated the way we look at the news now, imagine being responsible for fooling an entire nation into thinking their independence was established on the wrong day. Forever. Oh yeah, and it took a month to get all the signatures. I guess they had better things to do than establish independence for the nation. “Sorry, can’t sign now Hancock. Gotta chop down this cherry tree.” Just kidding again. George Washington didn’t even sign the Declaration. Something everyone loves and no one hates is a rousing parade where kids drop batons and horses poop in the street. The first ever, and longest lasting, 4th of July parade begin in 1785 in Bristol, Rhode Island. It wasn’t even an official U.S. holiday until 1941. You know what they say in Bristol – “do something for 156 years, and someone is bound to make an official holiday out of it.” Did you know that Independence Day was filmed in just 72 days and that Jeff Goldblum improvised nearly half his lines? Oh, shoot. That’s the movie. Scratch that. We’re not sure what your holiday traditions are, but a 4th of July isn’t complete at TQS without a romping march to “You’re A Grand Old Flag.” This is an actual line from the Library of Congress entry on on this song:
“George M. Cohan was already a Broadway star in 1906, but sheet music made him a legend.”
Also, did you know that the original title was “You’re A Grand Old Rag” and he wrote it about George Washington? But no one cared until he made it about the flag. Perhaps because Georgie couldn’t be bothered to come back into town to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Please note, no one here knows any of those children. We were simply inspired by them. Whether your holiday was filled with mouthfuls (and pocketfuls) of hotdogs, boxes of illegal fireworks, apple pie, or patriotic marches, we hope it was a great one!
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