America was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, when he set off on a sailing trip to India and took a wrong turn at Albuquerque. Columbus, who was not known for his political correctness, called the natives he met “Indians” and ran in to Ponce De Leon, who was looking for the Fountain of Youth. As history tells us, Oil of Olay was not yet invented, and Ponce would know the disgrace of saggy, wrinkled skin. Columbus tried to tell him that the key to youthful skin was staying hydrated, but Ponce was a stubborn old goat. Tragically, he would die an untimely death some years later of chronic crows’ feet.
Some folks in England decided to check out Columbus’s new country for themselves, so they sailed for the Americas and settled in Roanoke, VA. This colony soon became the first entry in the country’s rich history of urban legends, when all of its inhabitants were wiped out by a particularly aggressive tribe of vampires.
Not willing to accept defeat lightly, the English sent more people to settle this brand new land, armed with better supplies and sharpened stakes. In 1620, this group crashed in to Plymouth Rock, and a new settlement was born.
Why they picked New England instead of moving further south where, as everyone knows, the climate is more temperate and the taxes are lower, is beyond me. But they stayed, and that first winter, half of them died of frostbite. They were certainly an adventurous people, but maybe not particularly bright.
Once the colonists got settled and learned the value of warm clothing and portable heaters, Parliament decided that the colonists were having a little too much fun in their frat house of a new country. So they decided to tax their tea. This was a huge mistake. The colonists dumped all the tea in Boston Harbor and swore that from that moment on, we would be a nation of coffee drinkers. This was a very fortunate turn of events for one particular colonist, Sir Duncan Donets.
The King of England responded by sending a bunch of military folk to try and figure out who dumped all the tea, and by – you guessed it – taxing even morestuff.
This is the most important part. America does NOT like to be told what to do, particularly by a fat old king who had no idea how particularly brutal the winters in New England are without snow tires. The colonists got their best writer, Thomas Jefferson, to whip up a Declaration of Independence. They came up with a catchy war slogan – “no taxation without representation” – and picked up their muskets and pitchforks and fought the British. And even though we were a tiny, newborn nation, with few people and fewer weapons, we won. While bookies around the world were stunned, America knew we’d had it in us all along. So they set off fireworks and had a big cookout, a tradition we carry on in this fine nation to this day.
Some of my facts might not be entirely right (and the ones that are stand as a testament to Schoolhouse Rock!) but you get the gist of it – Independence Day is a pretty big deal. So go out, grill some hot dogs, and take pride in our country – it’s our big day!
Happy Birthday, America!