Happy Independence Day

by Dave Michels

This is a follow-up post from last Summer’s proclamation that Halloween and Independence Day should be swapped.

See: Have a Scarey Fourth of July

In that post, I made some compelling, dare I say brilliant, reasonings why these holidays should be flipped. Rather than repeat myself here, I will just offer you all a happy Independence Day. Unfortuantely, I forgot to buy/save fireworks even though they are safer now.

October was a very important month in 1776:

12th – British Brigade begins guarding Throgg Necks Road in Bronx
18th – Battle of Pelham: Col John Glover & Marblehead regiment meet British Forces in Bronx
26th – Benjamin Franklin departed from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.
28th – Battle of White Plains; Washington retreats to NJ

Not to mention:

The Battle of Valcour Island 11 October 1776

October 11th is the anniversary of the most important naval battle of the American Revolution. It was fought on a fresh-water lake (Lake Champlain) by an American force consisting of fifteen small vessels, commanded by an army general, Benedict Arnold, who became America’s most notorious traitor. Opposing it was a larger British flotilla, firing a weight of metal almost twice that of the Americans. Not surprising, therefore, the British destroyed the American fleet and decisively won the battle of Valcour Island.

Why then is it such an important battle? Because to deal with the threat posed by this rag-tag American fleet, the British expended precious time to assemble their own naval force, costing them the opportunity to invade the United States along the route of the Hudson River during the campaign of 1776. After their victory, they retreated to Canada, regrouped, and waited until the next spring to begin driving southward. By then the Americans were better prepared and the invaders were unsupported because the main British army in America had left New York. As a result, the Americans forced the surrender of the invading force at Saratoga, New York. This victory, in turn, convinced France to ally itself with the United States, broadening the American Revolution into an international conflict and stretching British resources to the breaking point. Thus a little-remembered naval battle changed the course of the war and led directly to American victory.


In 1789 (the year the Consititution was ratified) it was Oct 2nd  that George Washington transmitted the proposed Constitutional amendments (The United States Bill of Rights) to the States for ratification. He also declared the first national Thanksgiving to take place in November 1789.

So October is a fine month to celebrate Independence day.