Born on the Fourth of July

On more than one quiz, I’ve seen a question like this:

Does Bulgaria have a Fourth of July?

And of course, the answer is YES, Bulgaria has a July 4, a July 5, a July 6, et al. It’s one of those brain teasers.

Of course, many countries do celebrate a national day of independence. Here’s a list. Interestingly, though, MOST countries celebrate the date that the independence was ACHIEVED. The United States, as is its wont, celebrates the day that independence was DECLARED. Those cheeky Americans. The US isn’t the only nation, though; read the Ecuador narrative: “Proclaimed independence from Spain on August 10, 1809, but failed with the execution of all the conspirators of the movement on August 2, 1810. Independence finally occurred on May 24, 1822 at the Battle of Pichincha.” So the Ecuadorans celebrate BOTH days.

Maybe people in the US should celebrate October 19, 1781, The Battle of Yorktown, which, with plenty of help from France, effectively ended the Revolutionary War. Or the Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, which officially ended the conflict.

Since we do celebrate July 4, though, it’d be a good time to re-read the document that initiated today being deemed birthday number 236.

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5 thoughts on “Born on the Fourth of July

  1. Actually, when independence was declared the PROCESS of achieving independence was already well under way. The Revolution was already a year old at that point.

    Also, the Declaration of Independence formalized the break between the US population and the English king. Much of the language of the document is devoted to that point. This is something that Canada and Australia never managed to do.

    But what is missing from the Declaration of Independence is a condemnation of the English tactic of attempting to use the East India Company to rule the colonies. That is the precise reason that sparked the Revolution (Boston Tea Party, etc.) This omission from the document is sorely missed today.

    • Well, yes, the Boston Massacre, he Boston Tea Party, and Lexington and Concord were before this. But we still hadn’t ACHIEVED much at that point.

  2. First trip back the US after moving to New Zealand, and a friend with a Masters degree asked us, “Do you have the Fourth of July in New Zealand?” I assumed it was that joke, and answered, “Yes, it’s between the third and fifth.” He persisted: “No, I mean do you celebrate the Fourth?” He was serious. And it was by far the biggest facepalm moment I’ve had since moving from the USA.

  3. I’d never thought of July 4, 1776 as the day when Independence was declared, but that’s exactly correct! I suppose our founding fathers were confident in the success of their efforts, no matter how long it would take!

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