Not that hot around here (we just got a short-lived deluge, but Boston’s big fireworks show is still on, not that we had any intention of attending the Esplanade show). But sympathy for those who are in the hellzones… and if you’ll be outside this evening, don’t forget the bug spray!
Your annual reminder that the people who blame liberals for “cancel culture” once tried to cancel NPR for tweeting excerpts from the Declaration of Independence on Independence Day.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) July 4, 2023
Festivities are already starting for America's 250th anniversary even though it's three years away.
The anniversary push will formally launch this July 4 with an event during a Major League Baseball game. https://t.co/eEq52dN1oj
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 3, 2023
… Before the U.S. reaches its semiquincentennial — try saying that out loud — it will have to survive the 2024 presidential election, which is shaping up to be as divisive as its prior two contests.
Times also were fraught in the run-up to the country’s 1976 bicentennial celebration, which came two years after Richard Nixon resigned his presidency over the Watergate scandal and convulsions over the end of the Vietnam War. It followed a decade that saw the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
But Rosie Rios, the former U.S. treasurer who heads America250, has fond memories of that celebration as an 11-year-old in Northern California. She watched old-fashioned sailing ships gather in Boston and New York harbors on her family’s black-and-white television, and she visited the national Freedom Train exhibit when it stopped in Oakland. And, of course, she remembers the fireworks…
The July 4 event will be the formal kickoff for planning for the celebrations. America250, a nonpartisan organization created by Congress in 2016 to mark the anniversary, will oversee that process. It has already enlisted the neighborhood app Nextdoor and the YWCA as partners.
“We certainly have ideas,” Rios said, “but we’d like to hear ideas from students. We’d love to hear ideas from all parts of the country.”