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What's so special about the 4th of July?

Updated on July 4, 2011
Saladin
Saladin
Neil Simon
Neil Simon
Alec Rose
Alec Rose
Ruth Lawrence
Ruth Lawrence

Many things have happened on the 4th of July

The 4th of July has been an important date for many centuries. Nowadays, it's associated with the United States of America and for some strange reason, they feel that everybody should celebrate that day as well. This is the same country that had a WORLD Series where only American teams took part! Being a non-American, I decided to see what else we can remember on the 4th of July.

If you're a Catholic, then you might want to commemorate the 4th July, as on this day in 371, Martin of Tours was consecrated into the church against his will. He went on to found the first ever monastery in France. He apparently performed many miracles and there are countless legends about him. The cape he gave to a poor person became the origin of the word "chaplain," referring to a military pastor.

Another one for the Catholics, the guy who was responsible for improving the quality of church music died on this day in 683. His name was Pope Saint Leo 11.

All these earlier dates are all for the Catholics. In 965, Pope BenedictV died in a prison after the emperor had him incarcerated as he fancied another Pope who would kowtow to his wishes and demands.

On this day in 1187, Saladin, leader of the United Muslim forces, completely annihilated the knights of the Third Crusade in Tiberius, Syria.

In 1546, the Pope declared war on the Lutherans.

In 1648, Antoine Daniel, a Jesuit priest who taught the Hurons many hymns in their own language, was martyred by the Iroquois. I wonder if that's where the idea for my all-time favourite movie, The Mission, came from.

On this day in 1885, Louis B. Mayer, the famous movie executive was born in Minsk, Russia.  I'm sure most people have heard of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).  Some of his successes were Ben hur and Grand Hotel.  Apparently, he was a bit of a bastard but he had the ability to make a star.

380 People died of a blistering heat wave in the north eastern USA in 1911.

1918 and on this day Pauline Esther Friedman and her twin sister were born.  Both became famous columnists in their day, but Pauline was definitely the more famous of the two.  Her pen name was Ann Landers, but she was best known for her advice column called Dear Abby.

In 1927, the famous playwright, Neil Simon was born in The Bronx in New York.  The Odd Couple and The Goodbye Girl were two of my favourites from him.

Especially for Cris A, in 1946 the Philippines became a self-governing nation after 48 years of US rule.

1954 And the 14 years of ration books and rationing meat and bacon for the duration of the second world war and for some years after, ended on this day in Great Britain.

In 1968, a brave Alec Rose received a hero's welcome in Portsmouth, as he completed a 354 day solo round the world yacht trip without any corporate sponsorship.  He was knighted for his effort on the next day -5th July.  The Queen didn't waste much time!

In 1976, on the 4th July, Israeli commandos secretly flew thousands of kilometres to Uganda and heroically raided its airport at Entebbe, rescuing the almost 200 Israeli and Jewish passengers of Air France's infamous flight hijacked by Palestinian and German terrorists.  Unfortunately the only Israeli Defence Force casualty, was the operation's commander who was shot and killed at they entered the airport's terminal.

This sounds unbelievable but it's true.  In 1985 on this day, Ruth Lawrence became the youngest Brit at only age 13, to earn a first-class degree and the youngest known graduate of Oxford University.  Now my youngest should be that smart.  I can retire!

In 2003 we were shocked to hear that Barry White, famous singer who sang amongst others, You're the first, the last, my everything, died.

Oh yeah, and then we better not forget, it's also American Independence Day.

The way America sees the world.
The way America sees the world.
The US States renamed as countries with the equivalent GDP.
The US States renamed as countries with the equivalent GDP.

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    • Jodi Hoeksel profile image

      Jodi Hoeksel 7 years ago

      This is great! Love the info... AndMaps!! lol

      Don't forget 4th of July, 2008 The recession became so bad in America that all the illegal immigrants went back home!lol

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Lol Jodi, yes, should have added that ROFL

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

      I hate how we don't celebrate such things, as well as Halloween, Thanksgiving, a good excuse for a holiday lool.

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Any reason for a holiday is good to me. Today is a public holiday here, the actual dragon boat festival day and my birthday! Yippee! Don't have to work on my birthday, but 5.30am and I frigging still woke up!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from North America

      And - LOL,ROF - as your Traditional All-American Map clearly shows, we Native Americans don't exist. Well, I'm only 1/2 so, and we're the 5th column.

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      lol Patty, I heard in the staffroom yesterday that only 2% of the news on American TV is international news! The outside world doesn't exist for Americans lol

    • profile image

      Becky 7 years ago

      Hey Miss Cindy,

      Hope you're not taking the anti-American sentiment out on that sweet little American girl in your classroom! As I recall she wrote a piece calling you her hero.

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Aw Miss Becky, I'd never do that!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      In all fairness to celebrating other country's holidays, we do a great job on Cinco De Mayo and St. Paddy's day.. So we're all about celebrating! So I must think on what other outside festivals we celebrate.. Oh, here in Seattle we do a great Chinese New Year! We're trying!!!

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      lol Candie, I was just having a dig at the choice of this week's hubmob topic lol

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

      Great hub concept. Now we have more reasons to celebrate. In the USA the fourth still celebrates surpreme audacity and idealism.

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Hey Rochelle, we always have a reason to celebrate!

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

      Happy Birthday :D

      Yes the world series always bugged me. And just what is with our football? The rest of the world plays football with their feet. Ours don"t look nothin like that :O

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      lol PM, and thanks for the birthday wishes!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      I know you well enuf, I knew that! Cheers!

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      I LOVE most AMERICANS

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Well it's not like you can lump everybody in any one category/cliche'! I love tall guys/red heads/blondes/brainiacs..etc. Gotta run each by their own merit and values.

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      exactly Candie, there are good and bad in every country

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      I am glad that you put this one up girl. But as a non-American you have no idea what the true feeling is of being American on the 4th of July. I don't know of any other music that can stir one up like the John Philip Sousa pieces do. I think we have the greatest marching music in the world. That guy was a genius. Then when you get Ol' glory flapping in the sky and all of the fireworks, it is just something to behold. I don't much care for our anthem though.

      I love the second map too. thanks cindy I also have Native-American blood and sometimes am torn between the two, but I am what I am.

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      The second map was actually quite interesting, CC! I'm glad you weren't offended by my un-americaness.

    • Cailin Gallagher profile image

      Cailin Gallagher 7 years ago from New England

      I'm surprised! I lived in Ireland for five years and I don't remembering any mention of American celebrations such as the 4th of July, Halloween, Memorial Day or Labor Day. Maybe the news overseas has changed?

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 7 years ago from USA

      Cindi, it was very interesting to read this, I didn’t know a lot! I knew about Entebbe mission, though. Btw, the commander who was killed then was Yonatan (Yoni) Netanyahu, a brother of Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.

      I loved the maps, both of them, so humorous. I think that a nation which can laugh at itself in a clean way, is a great nation.

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 7 years ago from Here

      LMAO!!! HAHA I really loved this. Thank you! I wondered what the response on this hubmob would be from hubbers existing outside (gasp!) the US. ;)

      Great job. Voted up, would again if I could. Also love the map.

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Thanks RooBee, I have had some Americans being a little annoyed with this and getting very defensive!

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 7 years ago from Here

      Meh. They're probably no fun to hang around anyway. LOL!!!

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      definitely, Roobee

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      As an American I have never told anyone not American they should be into the Fourth of July.  However, I can see how the commercialization of the holiday can be annoying, so that I can respect.  However, Americans do not have a monopoly on annoying holidays or behaviors to be certain :). 

      My English roommate constantly told me how American bread was foul compared to the UK variety.  However, she stopped saying that once I taught her how to buy better breads at the store.  Personally I grew tired of hearing her talk about how this and that was better in the UK, and at one point I asked her why she even was studying in America if she felt this way. I was really just kidding, but her complaining just became exhausting.  

      I suppose if Americans are pushing our holiday down the throats of others it can be annoying, but for those who keep it to ourselves it is fun and amazing.  I certainly think Americans should not have to apologize or feel bad about the patriotic spirit of the Fourth, so long as they are not foisting this celebration on any other group.  Each country has certain things they should celebrate and enjoy, and being proud of the day American first declared Independence is certainly not a sin.  Hey it is a day off work, and anyone who has a problem with that is taking life way too seriously.

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      lol Sweetie Pie I just wondered why they set the Hubmob topic as the 4th of July when there are quite a few of us on HP who aren't American

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I think maybe they decided on this topic because it is a high search engine topic, so it will garner traffic.  My hub about the Fourth of July is already seeing some traffic, which is what I am aiming for anyway.  I am sure in the next few weeks HP will come up with HubMob topics about holidays for other countries, and it never hurts to suggest this.

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Yeah, its ok, just approached it differently

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      This is a very interesting, enjoyable trip through time. I especially liked your map of "How Americans see the World." Very funny. Thanks for the journey.

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Pleasure, James! You see, the 4th of July is a special day for lots of reasons!

    • lxxy profile image

      lxxy 7 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      Way cool cindy, thanks for sharing that...now we don't look like jackholes over here. ;)

      I think the most important reason to celebrate the 4th of July is to remember the day Will Smith banished the aliens. ;)

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Yes Ixxy, we can call it International Alien Day!

    • profile image

      sierra 7 years ago

      that is cool

    • profile image

      sierra 7 years ago

      This is very interesting. But i still don't get what is so speacial about 4th of July.And two days after 4th of July is mine and my twin b-day!!!

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Well Sierra, happy birthday to you for then!

    • profile image

      Denz 7 years ago

      One more day to go and its already july. Advance happybirthday to you who are having their birthday on July...

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Hey Denz, a big shout out to all who have birthdays in July!

    • profile image

      R. E. Proctor Jr 7 years ago

      Enjoyed reading this. "bombs go here" - very funny map!

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Thanks Mr Proctor, some of my American friends were offended at the map and said that they'll never make me apple pie now

    • profile image

      HappyAmerican 7 years ago

      Yes, Americans rock and we are number 1. Why do so many people immigrant here? Again, because we rock! Don't like us, we don't care. Get your own holidays and stop dumping on ours. NO APPLE PIE FOR YOU!

    • lovemyself profile image

      lovemyself 7 years ago

      Great article! A special day for the United States

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Aw Happy American, that's a bit mean, no apple pie! Thank God I can make a pretty mean apple pie myself tee hee!

      Thanks for the lovely comment Lovemyself~

    • profile image

      praveen 7 years ago

      Its my birthday too...

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Well then Praveen, it definitely is a special day!

    • profile image

      James 7 years ago

      International Alien Day is October 4. Go to internationalalienday on the web

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I read a majority of these comments and I find that most Americans are pretty apologetic and humble when confronted by people from other countries claiming they consider themselves The World. There are those who do, but for the most part, Americans get that we are not the World. That is why so many voted for Obama. The majority did not want to go it alone like Lonesome Cowboys.

      I lived in Deutschland when I was twelve and I found it hard to manage hatred towards Americans. My father was not in the military, but the military presence was visible. I discovered stereotyping Americans was rampant.

      I know you wrote this hub as a lark, probably to make a point that the hubpages mob is short sighted. I suppose if you were Hindu you would feel the same about the hubmobsters promoting Christmas hubs.

      I would like to be a spoil sport and say that this kind of sentiment does nothing to inspire international friendship and reminds me of the bully mentality we are trying to remove from our playgrounds.

      I am going to read another of your hubs, because I think this one is an anomole. Or I hope it is.

      Thanks for listening to me after I listened to you.

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 6 years ago from Cape Town

      Hey Storytellersrus, we are lucky that we live with freedom of speech, I appreciate your comments.

    • Jaydeus profile image

      Jaydeus 6 years ago from Springfield, TN

      Awesome :D

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 5 years ago from Cape Town

      Thanks Jaydeus

    • profile image

      shakki 5 years ago

      I M HAPPY TAT MY BIRTHDAY S ON JULY 4.... I KNOW THIS DAY'S SPECILAITY ONLY 2YEARS AGO....I M REALLY PROUD ...

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 5 years ago from Cape Town

      Happy birthday Shakki!

    • profile image

      Paco Sanchez 5 years ago

      There are those who bitch and complain about the US and still they stay in this country smelling our shit. Therefore, the USA cannot be all that bad when our shit smell so good to you.

      next complainer?????????????

    • profile image

      billy 5 years ago

      that is so cool :) bye bye

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 5 years ago from Cape Town

      Paco iy's human nature to complain. Billy, byeeee!

    • profile image

      Tristan 4 years ago

      This is what's so special about the 4th, recognizing patriotic figures such as this...

      http://duggal.com/connect/get-connected/baldev-dug...

    • cindyvine profile image
      Author

      Cindy Vine 4 years ago from Cape Town

      cool

    • profile image

      rhiana 3 years ago

      thanks very much

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