Dear Kid,

Fourth of July Erma Bombeck quote DearKIdLoveMom.comTurns out, we might have it all wrong. According to History, we should probably be celebrating Independence on July 2nd because on the 2nd Congress (finally) ruled in favor of independence.

Then—in the last act of collaboration Congress would ever participate in—they got busy editing Jefferson’s declaration. After two days (which was amazingly fast given today’s standards), Congress accepted the Declaration. History was overridden and we celebrate on The 4th. History sulked for a bit, but got over it.

We The People began observing The 4th in Philadelphia in 1777 with a parade (or poud-drade as you used to say), a thirteen-shot cannon salute, and fireworks. Yes, really fireworks. Fireworks have been an integral part of The 4th since there was a The 4th. (Doubtless without a doubt—one of my favorite lines from The Philadelphia Story—people have been getting injured by them every year since then too.)

Congress (as is now its custom) took a while to catch up. It wasn’t until almost 100 years later (1870 to be exact) that Congress made Independence Day a federal holiday.

Since we’re Amur-cins, we celebrate with food. Back in 1776, people (and by “people” I mean John and Abigail Adams) ate things like turtle soup, poached salmon with egg sauce, green peas, and boiled new potatoes in celebration of Independence.

Now we eat hot dogs. A LOT of hot dogs. I don’t know when the switch from poached salmon to hot dogs was made. History knows but isn’t telling.

We also eat potatoes (A LOT of potatoes) in the form of chips, fries, and salad. And macaroni salad [which was invented in the early 20th century. I don’t know why it was invented. Personally, I just don’t get mayonnaise and pasta. Maybe it just slides down nicely after a dozen hot dogs.].

For dessert, We The People eat watermelon and have a marvelous time spitting seeds at each other. Then we decide that watermelon was only the pre-dessert and we dive face first into the real dessert of baked goods and ice cream. We The People know how to eat.

Then, too full to do anything else, we watch fireworks. Unfortunately, some people will get hurt by fireworks. Some things haven’t changed. Stay safe, sweetie.

Hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July.

Love, Mom