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4th of July: More Than Just Quotes, Fireworks, Partying, and Nathan's Hot Dog Contest


The 4th of July is finally here and for many of us in the northeast, this time of the year couldn't come soon enough after being hit with record snowfalls in February and july 4th fireworks statue of libertyenduring the harshest winter many of us will ever see. 

Here are some things to make you go hmm when you're hanging out and watching the fireworks at the Welcome America Celebration in Philly tonight.  

Independence Day is about so much more than just 4th of July quotes, fireworks, food, the Jersey Shore, and even the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest. By the way, doesn't it seem like Kobayashi is acting like a total prima donna by refusing to participate this year? Added to that, his absence does hurt the event. 

The 4th of July also happens to be American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor Rube Goldberg's birthday. Google is celebrating July 4th and Goldberg's birthday by incorporating a Rube Goldberg machine into their logo today.  Good stuff. 

It's a testament to how young we are as a country.  I find it amazing that one of the hottest google search trends today is "how old is America?"  Really, if you live here do you have to ask that question?  For those of you who just fell off the turnip truck - The United States of America turned 234 years old today. Or, maybe you're just really into your job and oblivious of anything going on around you. 

When Dick Vermeil became head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976 it was well documented how much he was absorbed into his job. On July 4th, marking the Bicentennial Dick Vermeil was entrenched in his first training camp as the coach.  Vermeil actually screamed at people outside his window to stop the fireworks so that his coaches could conentrate. It was only our 200th birthday!

July 4th isn't just a reminder of how good we have it (despite all the complaining going on about Obama) but it's a reminder of how America nearly didn't make it.  Watch the John Adams HBO miniseries and you'll see just how shaky our nation was in the beginning.  Among Thomas Jefferson's greatest quotes, was "An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry."

What he said held true in the 1770's and today.  If you think there is bickering going on now, think back to then when they couldn't even convince John Dickinson to join in with the other delegates by declaring independence from Great Britain.  He actually abstained from voting, rather than just voting against it. 

Our country has come a long ways in 234 years.  And, the age of our nation pales in comparison to England.  The nation of England became a unified state in 927. And, China, regarded as the oldest civilization, has been a nation since 2100 B.C.  And, Iran's origins date back to 625 B.C.

For those who say that America is doomed, relax a little.  We're still pretty damn young as a country.  We have a long ways to go before you can put a fork in us.

Finally, I'll leave you with this.  July 4th also happens to the day when two of the greatest American patriots died on the same day. One of the greatest ironies in history is that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4th 1826, which was the 50th birthday of our nation.  Think about that when you're watching the fireworks tonight! 

July 4th Statue of Liberty photo from http://globesetter1.files.wordpress.com