Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Spending many years in New England, I actually lived there during the Bicentennial in 1976. Besides being fortunate to see so much history there (and having a grandfather who came from Norwich, England when he was 14), my parents took me to many historical reenactments. I didn't appreciate it then as much as I do now. But, I can sincerely say that, despite this additional education, I always knew that America's independence was indeed from England.

I was surprised to learn the other day that not everyone in this country seems to know this fact. According to Maris Poll, it states that:
"There's good news for American education. About three-quarters of residents — 74% — know the U.S. declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776. The bad news for the academic system — 26% do not. This 26% includes one-fifth who are unsure and 6% who thought the U.S. separated from another nation. That begs the question, “From where do the latter think the U.S. achieved its independence?” Among the countries mentioned are France, China, Japan, Mexico, and Spain."
Wow! Didn't they ever hear the famous phrase by Paul Revere warning the residents that "The British are coming?" Or ever open a history book? China? MEXICO? Mexico didn't even exist in 1776! Seriously, this level of stupidity is downright scary. Perhaps the fireworks are just pretty colors to this group.

Alas, Happy 4th of July to the American people anyway....the red, white, blue....and all the other colors and backgrounds that make this country so interesting and diverse. And, sadly, to the ignorant as well.

(Painting from "The Sons of Liberty")