July 5th - Happy Independence Day!
Pity the poor Fifth of July. Americans don't love it the way they love its neighbor, the loud and flag-bedazzled Fourth of July.
The Fourth is hard to beat. A celebration of our Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, the Fourth is filled with some of America's favorite things, things like not working, barbecue, and blowing stuff up.
But the Fifth means back to work, indigestion, and the occasional missing pinky. For us, Independence Day is over.
But the Fifth of July is Independence Day for several other countries.
July 5th is the day Venezuelans celebrate their Declaration of Independence from Spain in 1811. They wouldn't see victory for another brutal 12 years, in 1823, but every revolution has to start somewhere. It's also the day Algeria celebrates its independence from France in 1962. They reversed the process, getting their decade of bloody guerilla warfare and terror out of the way first.
July 5th is also Independence Day for Cape Verde. Where is Cape Verde? Thanks for asking. The Republic of Cape Verde is a volcanic archipelago of ten islands off the western coast of Africa. The islands were uninhabited until the Portuguese discovered them in 1456. CV has a colorful history of pirates, slave traders, and music, so I'm assuming their Fifth of July parties are a lot of fun. Cape Verde kicked Portugal to the curb in 1975.
So to the Venezuelans, the Algerians, and the Cape Verdeans, I raise a leftover beer in your honor. I also think I have a couple of sparklers around here someplace.
Happy Independence Day.
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