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  • CCUS Special: The 4th of July

  • Hi, I’m John Green, and today were talking about the 4th of July, which in the United

  • States, is called Independence Day. This is the day that Americans celebrate our independence

  • from Great Britain by doing what Americans do best; blowing stuff up, offering significant

  • discounts on mattresses, driving long distances for uncomfortable family interactions, and

  • eating A LOT of grilled meat.

  • Right, so, the story goes that the founders of this nation signed the Declaration of Independence

  • on July 4th, 1776, parting ways with King George to found the free-est, finest nation

  • on the face of the Earth.

  • Libertage

  • Except, the Continental Congress approved a resolution of independence on July 2nd.

  • The Lee resolution was proposed by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia in June, 1776, and was

  • a simple legal declaration of separation from England. John Adams got so excited about it

  • that he wrote to his wife Abigail,

  • The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America.

  • I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary

  • festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion

  • to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports,

  • guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other,

  • from this time forward forever more.”

  • So, what happened on the 4th? The Declaration of Independence was the formal announcement

  • of independence, and its text was approved on July 4th, 1776. The fancy parchment version

  • with all the pretty calligraphy wouldn’t get drawn up until July 19th, and most members

  • of congress signed the Declaration on August 2nd.

  • Adams may have been wrong about the date, but he was definitely right about the celebration.

  • Americans started celebrating the 4th as early as 1777. As Adams predicted, the holiday was

  • observed with feasts, 13 gun salutes, and fireworks. In 1778, George Washington celebrated

  • the 4th by giving his soldiers a double ration of rum. Also, there was more shooting. While

  • the people celebrated the anniversary from the beginning, the federal government took

  • its sweet time formalizing the holiday. Independence Day became an unpaid holiday for federal employees

  • in 1870, and it became a paid day off in 1938.

  • 4th of July observances evolved over the years, but they generally involve patriotic displays,

  • including decorations, fire, and explosions. Early observances were marked by huge bonfires.

  • The litigious nature of modern american society has greatly reduced the number of celebratory

  • bonfires we see, but fireworks are still a huge part of the 4th of July.

  • Many cities and towns across the country put on fireworks displays on the 4th. New York’s

  • fireworks display is the largest in the nation. Detroit is even so kind as to share its fireworks

  • with neighboring Windsor, Ontario. They call it a joint celebration of Independence Day

  • and Canada Day, which has something to do with the convoluted establishment of Canada’s

  • so-called independence. It’s very confusing, because this lady is still their head of state.

  • Despite the grandeur of these officially sanctioned displays, many, many individuals across the

  • nation feel the need to blow stuff up in their yards. A lot of states have restricted the

  • sale and personal use of fireworks, but in the spirit of freedom, would be patriots find

  • their way to marginal neighborhoods every year to buy fireworks out of the backs of

  • vans. Where I live, these pyrotechnic celebrations start about mid-May, and continue into August,

  • causing my dog to have a very stressful summer.

  • Adams’s prediction about gunfire holds true as well. On most military bases fifty gunshots,

  • one for each state, are fired at noon on July 4th as a “Salute to the Union.” In Stan’s

  • neighborhood, where you go to buy the fireworks out of the back of a van, celebratory gunfire

  • is common. Here is an actual bullet hole in Stan’s actual window.

  • In the 19th century, many ex-presidents celebrated the 4th by dying. Both Thomas Jefferson and

  • John Adams died on July 4th, 1826, and James Madison died on the 4th in 1831. Calvin Coolidge

  • was born on July 4th, 1876, but as he was never demonstrably alive, no one really cares

  • much.

  • Lest we forget, Americans also celebrate the 4th by eating. Millions of Americans host

  • cookouts to celebrate independence, and the greatest spectacle in professional sport happens

  • on the 4th of July as well. Nathan’s Hot Dogs hosts its annual hot dog eating contest

  • each year on the 4th. The world record, incidentally is 68 HDBs (hot dog and bun) in 10 minutes.

  • That means the record holder, Joey Chestnut, consumed xxx calories in 10 minutes.

CCUS Special: The 4th of July


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    Jenny Hsu 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日