By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
The big day has arrived. Everybody get out there, and let’s celebrate the birth of this great nation.
Yeah, I know, it’s July 3, but that’s when most Independence Day events in Northeast Mississippi are scheduled.
Organizers have a point: Big happenings work better on Saturdays than Sundays, so go ahead and pay tribute to the U.S. of A. today.
Still, I’m a purist about these things.
Halloween’s the same way. City leaders tend to shift candy collecting around, depending on when Oct. 31 actually falls.
If I were King of the World, July 4 festivities would be confined to July 4, and Oct. 31 activities would take place on Oct. 31.
But it’s been abundantly clear for quite some time that I’m not King of the World, so I try to go with the flow.
Still, it is the Third of July, and we should give the day its due.
For instance, on July 3, 1754, George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity to the French during the French and Indian War, but that’s probably not what we’re looking for.
In 1775, an older, wiser Washington took control of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Mass., and that worked out.
The final day of the Battle of Gettysburg took place on July 3, 1863. It didn’t go well for the South, but the Civil War was a long time ago. Surely, any hard feelings have been resolved by now.
If you’re a fan of Idaho like I am, then you’ll be happy to know it was admitted into the United States in 1890 as our 43rd state. The capital city is Boise, which has one heck of a Shakespeare Festival in the summertime – “Methinks thou shalt celebrateth the Thirdeth of July.”
Here’s a good one: George M. Cohan, the guy who wrote, “A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam; Born on the Fourth of July” from “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” actually was born on July 3, 1878, in Rhode Island.
(By the way, Rhode Island was the first of the thirteen original colonies to reject British rule. That happened May 4, 1776.)
Anyone who loves newspaper comedy – and, really, who doesn’t? – should sing an off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday” for syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry (retired), who left the womb on this day in 1947 in Armonk, NY. Nobody asked me, but “Armonk, NY,” sounds like a good name for a rock ‘n’ roll band.
If you’ve yet to find a reason to throw a humdinger of a soiree today, then I’ve saved the best for last.
In 2006, Asteroid 2004 XP14 flew within 268,624 miles of Earth. On a cosmic scale, that’s less than the distance between an ant’s behind and the cold, unforgiving ground. Can I get a “Whew” from my fellow survivors?
Happy Third of July to one and all. Get out there and party like you mean it.
Still, be sure to leave a little patriotism in the tank for tomorrow. Whoo-hoo!
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.