Let's start celebrating July 4 a little early
Monday, July 01, 2013 10:00 PM
The grand, ol' U.S. of A. turns 237 Thursday. While much of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County celebrates another holiday - including your favorite Montgomery County Daily - it seemed a good time to share some 4th of July tidbits.
Wouldn't it be something if the Founding fathers could see us now? What if Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay could spend a week or three wandering around Washington, D.C., followed by a visit to a few state legislatures . . . starting with California. Do you think the authors of the Federalist Papers would recognize the Republic they created?
The U.S. may have been born on July 4, 1776 when delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence. But July 4 wasn't recognized as a federal holiday until 1870 when it was recognized as an unpaid federal holiday. Almost 60 years later the government started getting fatter when lawmakers made it a day off with pay.
The Fourth of July hasn't been the best of days for U.S. presidents. Of the 43 men who have served as the Chief Executive of our country, three have died on July 4. Two of them, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day in 1826. Adams was the second president and Jefferson the third. James Monroe was the fifth.
The 4th wasn't too great for Zachary Taylor, the 12th president, either. He ate some bad food on that day and was dead within a week.
On July 2, the 20th U.S. President, James Garfield, was shot. He lasted a few months before passing away.
Speaking of July 2, Adams was a little off on his date. He wrote the following: "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." Close, John, close.
What are your favorite July 4 or patriotic movies? While not in any particular order, here are my top three. Yankee Doodle Dandy: James Cagney becomes not a good guy, but a great guy with his portrayal of singer songwriter George M. Cohan. Heck, he was so good he made me forget his tough guy image. Independence Day: OK, I admit it, I'm a sci-fi fan. Besides, how can you not love a movie when the hero (played by Will Smith) punches the alien and says, "Welcome to Earth." And who can forget Rocky? A 4th of July movie? You bet. Rocky and Apollo Creed meet in the City of Brotherly Love for the world heavyweight boxing title on July 4. Remember Apollo's red, white and blue trunks?
And finally, know which other countries have 4th of July? All of them. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)
Happy Independence Day everyone!
Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Tuesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.