For instance, did you know that three U.S. presidents died on July 4th? Did you know that Independence Day is the top holiday for beer sales? Did you know that kids who attend Fourth of July parades are more likely to grow up to be Republicans? And did you know that one out of every four Americans doesn’t know the country from which we won our independence, and that 42 percent of Americans don’t know the year we declared our independence?
Whoa, those statistics can’t be right. Is it possible that that many Americans are unaware of these basic facts about our country’s history? I’m far from an historical expert (in fact, I still have nightmares about Mr. Farley’s 11th grade World History class and the painful memorization of names and dates). But aren’t these things that all Americans know?
Apparently not. Maybe these are facts that slipped through the cracks of our elementary school education. Maybe we just need a refresher course in why we don’t have to go to work on the 4th of July. Maybe we can even figure out a way infuse some American History 101 into our Independence Day festivities.
I know, we can buy hot dogs with the year 1776 branded on them. Or, we can watch firework displays that feature snippets from the Declaration of Independence. Or, Katy Perry can write a song about American history set to a good beat (hey, most of her other lyrics are silly too and people still buy her music). Or, since we know that beer sales are at their high of the year, Budweiser can print 4th of July facts on their cans so we can combine education with inebriation.
What do you think?
I know, probably unlikely. So while I wait for Katy Perry’s people to call me back, I urge you to not be one of those four Americans who doesn’t know the country from whom we won our independence (psst, it’s Great Britain) or part of the 42 percent who don’t know the year we declared that independence (cough cough, it’s 1776).
And now that you know that, have a happy and safe 4th of July!