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10 Little Known Facts About Independence Day

July 4th, 2009

declaration-of-independence.jpgThis article by an author writing as “Melodyfair” lists ten relatively little known trivia facts about July 4th, the date known as Independence Day to Americans who celebrate this day as a national holiday. It carries much significance because it was on this date back in 1776 that a few colonial radicals with some decidedly libertarian political leanings finally got fed up with the British government of the time and drafted a document known as the Declaration of Independence, which effectively severed political ties to Great Britain and created the foundation for the modern United States.

Since this is supposed to be a libertarian site (and one that is using the Independence Day theme, no less!), I would feel remiss if I did not take this opportunity to remind readers that the most important part of the Declaration of Independence is the idea that we actually have the right to alter or abolish our government in order to preserve our liberty. In a rather provocative posting from last year, Michael Hampton from Homeland Stupidity made a refreshingly radical call to do just that:

A new freedom movement has arisen which holds that no one can hold the authority to force anyone to do anything, regardless of whether some so-called representative said in a Congress that it was okay. It is these people who, both now and after the collapse, will show us the way forward. Some are known as libertarians, some as anarcho-capitalists, some as voluntaryists. All share the conviction that coercive government is not an appropriate way to organize a society, and is certainly not a civilized way to relate to people.

Indeed, government has been responsible for more harm to society than any other social construct in human history.

I, however, think the most appropriate term for the people in this movement is that used by those who opposed chattel slavery: abolitionist. It is time to abolish government, that institution which holds us all in universal bondage and which creates all of our societal problems. Whether it is done piecemeal or all at once, humanity will finally be able to move forward to the next stage in civilization: that of interacting with each other peacefully and freely.

Unfortunately, given the general state of our “sheeple” and the current political climate, such ideas are considered “non-starters” by almost everyone in the mainstream of American society. However, as our nation goes ever deeper into debt, continues to commit acts of unnecessary aggression around the world, and begins to resemble an overblown empire more than a peaceful republic, something will need to be done to prevent the current situation from becoming even more unpleasant than it already is.

Meanwhile, it seems that there are at least a few people in government and the media who don’t want us to know the full scope of what the Declaration of Independence was really about. While searching for relevant Independence Day videos earlier today, I ran across this interesting little clip by ScrewCensorship.com (unfortunately, their domain currently resolves to an “account suspended” page) which reveals that the text on the Jefferson Memorial has been curiously censored to remove the words “the consent of the governed” and “right to alter or abolish”. Hmmm…

At any rate, I believe that the ultimate lesson of Independence Day is that when your life really, really sucks, sometimes it is worth considering radical solutions that others do not dare to mention — especially when it involves gaining important freedoms that we should have had all along.

Now we return to our regularly scheduled trivia lesson:


1. There are 30 places across the nation that have the word Liberty in their name. Four states in the U.S. have Liberty counties - Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Montana.

2. In Major League Baseball history, four men of importance were born on July 4th — New York Yankees’ owner, George Steinbrenner; Hall of Famer, Mickey Welch; Former Major League pitcher, George Mullin; and Vinny Castilla of the Colorado Rockies.

3. In 1777, one year after the Declaration of Independence was signed into existence, the first official July 4th celebration was held. It wasn’t until 1941 that the day July 4th become a legal holiday.

4. One US President, Calvin Coolidge, was born on the Fourth of July. Three American Presidents passed away on this day — Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died within hours of each other on this same day in 1826.

5. Oddly enough, July 4th is also celebrated as the Independence from Meat Day. This observance was created by The Vegetarian Awareness Network in Tennessee.

6. Back in 1777, fireworks were certainly not as we know them today. One of the first displays of fireworks were on this day when American patriots placed lit candles on their windowsills to show their love of country. If a windowsill was bare, it was certain that person was loyal to the English crown.

7. It is estimated that on a single July 4th holiday, 150 million hot dogs will be consumed by Americans.

8. There is a reason why the once popular children’s firework, the Sparkler, is now deemed too unsafe for use by kids. The firework’s temperature when burning is 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. In 1804, Lewis and Clark celebrate the first July 4th west of the Mississippi. Where? Independence Creek.

10. In July 1776, there were an estimated 2.5 million people living in the colonies. Today, there are approximately 300 million people in the United States.



3 Responses to “10 Little Known Facts About Independence Day”

  1. comment number 1 by: Ireland5

    Interesting - apparently several words and quotations on the Jefferson Memorial have been changed/modified including the word ‘inalienable’ - originally written as ‘unalienable’. Omissions are even worse. Some corrections need to be made…um…

  2. comment number 2 by: Michael Hampton

    Thanks for the link. I just posted my latest Independence Day article (it’s an annual thing since 2005), and you may be interested in reading it. The idea I proposed last year may be a non-starter today for most people, but I intend to change that. The ongoing collapse will certainly help, though I could not wish such a thing on anyone.

  3. comment number 3 by: Anonymous

    I hate jessica :D

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