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A look at Independence Days gone by
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A look at Independence Days gone by

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Mindy Carson and Les Baxter (His Chorus and Orchestra) both had 1955 hits with “Wake the Town and Tell the People.”

It’s a love song needing heeding: Wake up everybody and tell ’em today’s July 4, 2021, Independence Day, 24 hours more meaningful than fireworks, ice-cold thirst-slackers in $400 Yeti coolers or No. 3 washtubs and/or Joey Chestnut eating enough hotdogs to feed a small town at Nathan’s on Coney Island.

And no, not talking Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech in Yankee Stadium July 4, 1939.

Now.

Any American with a sixth-grade education could do much worse than spending 2-3 minutes today reading 482 powerful words that form an important cornerstone of the U.S. of A., most especially these 72 words from the U.S. Constitution:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

These amendments and eight more were ratified Dec. 15, 1791, and formed the “Bill of Rights.”

The business of the U.S. has been steady on Independence Days.

On this date in 1776, according to legend, the Liberty Bell rang for only its second time as the U.S. Congress proclaimed the Declaration of Independence … and independence from Great Britain.

Twenty years later, the first Independence Day celebration was held, and on this date in 1802, the U.S. Military Academy opened in West Point, New York.

On this date in 1803, Pres. Thomas Jefferson announced the Louisiana Purchase and on July 4, 1826, Jefferson and another former president, John Adams, died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

New York abolished slavery on Independence Day 1827, and in 1831, “America (My Country ’Tis of Thee)” is sung in Boston the first time.

What else happened on Independence Day?

1876 – First exhibition of public lighting lit in San Francisco

1881 – Tuskegee Institute established by Booker T. Washington

1884 – Statue of Liberty presented to U.S. in France

1895 – “America the Beautiful” published by Katherine Lee Bates

1934 – Chain-reaction design of atomic bomb patented by Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard

1941 – Howard Florey and Norman Heatley met and 11 days later re-invented penicillin

1942 – First American bombing mission over enemy-occupied Europe

1944 – U.S. fired a 1,100-gun salute at German lines in Normandy; first Japanese kamikaze attack on U.S. fleet near Iwo Jima, where Marines raise U.S. Flag

1945 – Britain agreed to use atomic bomb against Japan

1954 – WWII meat and all food rationing officially ended in Great Britain

1959 – New 49-star U.S. flag heralding Alaskan statehood raised

1960 – New 50-star U.S. flag heralding Hawaiian statehood unfurled

1966 – Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson signed Freedom of Information Act

2009 – Statue of Liberty’s crown reopened to public eight years after World Trade Center attacks

2013 – Twelve people killed, 60 injured in Chicago shootings

2017 – North Korea tested first successful intercontinental ballistic missile into Sea of Japan

Hmmmm.

Detected a pattern here?

Such as, events impacting us all, not just individuals.

You know, “E Pluribus Unum” …

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