Today’s our national birthday, but, P.J. O’Rourke grumbles, we really should have been celebrating two days ago:
The Continental Congress declared independence from Britain on July 2nd. The 4th was simply when the Continental Congress approved the final wording of its independence declaration. If the 4th of July were the 2nd of July, it would have been on Wednesday this year. We could have taken a couple of days of family leave (which Washington prevents U.S. corporations from being required to provide) on either side of Wednesday and had a whole damn week go to parades, play backyard softball games, fire guns, ring bells, light bonfires, grill cheeseburgers, drink beer, and blow our fingers off with M-80s.
Update from a reader:
O’Rourke is right that our holiday should be a week – and there’s a historical reason. Only 12 of the 13 original colonies voted for independence on July 2. The final colony, New York, did not ratify the Declaration until July 9, a full week later. (We write about this in our book, Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City, and on our blog today.)
Why not celebrate from July 2 to July 9? Now that would be a party.