4th of July
The Dangerous Lies We Tell About America's Founding
July 03, 2014
No, the American Revolution didn't begin with the "shot heard round the world." The facts matter.
Edmund Wilson on Fourth of July Festivities, 1925
July 03, 2014
"Hot dogs roasted twenty at a time on an enormous open stove ... "
No, the EPA Isn't Waging War on the Fourth of July
July 02, 2014
But fireworks can do real damage to humans and the environment.
Was This the Most Dangerous Film in American History?
July 30, 2012
One of the puzzles facing the film historian (amateur or professional) occurs when a child climbs upon the parental knee and asks, “Well, Dad, what was the black list?” The parent struggles to explain that, once upon a nervous time, the Hollywood movie was said to be rife with un-American suggestions and the energetic insinuation of socialist alternatives. The child blinks, and says, “Father, isn’t that preposterous?
Anatomy of a Wishful Viral Rumor
July 05, 2012
The 2012 campaign isn’t the first to be marked by rumors and distortions. But it’s already setting new land-speed records for the time it takes a tossed-off comment or flat-out falsehood to develop into a “fact” accepted by half the political world. The “report” that Obama would be traveling to Paris to hold a European fundraiser on the Fourth of July was just the latest example of partisan lying. Every time it happens, supporters of the rumor’s target bemoan the gullibility of their partisan counterparts. How could anyone think Obama was born in Kenya?!
Now that Conrad Black is no longer in jail, he is free to spread his ideas to the hungry masses. National Review, which is always pining for the glory days of imperialism, has taken Black under its wing, and apparently decided that July 4th was an opportune time for him to pen a piece about the glories of empire.
Up in the Air
June 23, 2012
LATE ON THE MORNING of July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart climbed into the cockpit of her Lockheed Electra airplane on a small grass runway in Lae, New Guinea. She was 22,000 flight miles into her daring attempt to fly around the world, a journey that had captivated Americans since she lifted off from Miami a month earlier. Now Earhart was facing the most dangerous leg of the trip: a 19-hour, 2,556-mile flight to a tiny speck in the Pacific Ocean known as Howland Island. Earhart’s celebrity had grown formidable in the decade since her transatlantic flight, the first ever by a female pilot.
Yesterday was the Fourth of July, a prime hot-dog-eating day for millions of Americans. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, on Independence Day Americans consume 150 million hot dogs—and none of them ate more than Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, the 230-pound, number-one-ranked competitive eater who yesterday was victorious for the fifth consecutive time at Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Chestnut downed 62 hot dogs in ten minutes—enough to take first prize, but still short of his record-setting 68 hot dogs in 2009.
How the Complete Meaning of July Fourth Is Slipping Away
July 04, 2011
At least one of the Founders thought that Independence Day would become important. When the Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776, John Adams, who more than any other single Founder was responsible for that vote, was ecstatic. America’s declaring of independence from Great Britain, he told his wife Abigail, marked “the most memorable Epocha in the History of America.” He hoped that the day would be “celebrated by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.
There's Gonna Be Fireworks
July 01, 2011
While most of you are watching fireworks on Monday night, I’ll be on a plane en route from Beijing to Detroit. This is the first time in my life I will be abroad for the Fourth of July and, yes, it feels very strange. But spending the last two weeks overseas has had the same effect it always does: It’s made me that much more appreciative of the United States.