Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Roundup

Jim Cullen, "The Declaration of Independence and the American Dream," HNN, June 29, 2011

"America is a young country," people sometimes say. What they really seem to mean is: "the United States is a young nation." Such a statement makes some sense if one thinks of a political entity that came into existence circa July 4, 1776. It makes less sense when one considers that the Constitution that followed about a dozen years later is the oldest written functioning one in the world. Compared with a traditional nation-state like France or Spain, sure—the United States is a young nation, even if France has had a few republics since then.>>>

"American civil war re-enactment in South Yorkshire - in pictures," Guardian, July 4, 2011

Enthusiasts from all walks of life took part in re-enacting scenes from the American Civil War and in 'living history' events in the grounds of Cusworth Hall, near Doncaster, which are as authentic as possible.>>>

Peter Rothberg, "What Is Patriotism," Nation, July 1, 2011

The first sentence of The Nation's prospectus, dated July 6, 1865, promised "the maintenance and diffusion of true democratic principles in society and government," surely a patriotic sentiment, as was the magazine's name.

Since that time The Nation has attempted to represent and give voice to the best of American values and culture and has steadfastly resisted all efforts through the years to brand dissent as unpatriotic.>>>

Amy Bingham, "Almost a Fourth of Americans Do Not Know When the U.S. Declared Independence," ABC News, July 4, 2011

American Fourth of July traditions are tightly woven into the fabric of U.S. society, but the history of the country’s independence seems to have slipped through the seams.

A Marist poll released Friday shows that only 58 percent of Americans know when the country declared independence. Nearly a fourth of respondents said they were unsure and sixteen percent said a date other than 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed.>>>

Brian Handwerk, "Fourth of July: Nine Myths Debunked," National Geographic, July 4, 2011

Many time-honored patriotic tales turn out to be more fiction than fact. On the Fourth of July—today marked by a continent-spanning Google doodle—here's a look at some memorable myths from the birth of the United States.>>>

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