Happy 4th of July!

Shot Heard Round the World
Three days ago we took to this blog’s “pages” to sing the praises of our great neighbors to the north. But, of course, there is one land we hold even more dear; our own.

Today, July 4th, is America’s Independence Day; the 239th anniversary of the day when the thirteen original American colonies declared themselves as sovereign states, entirely independent of Great Britain.

The second sentence of the document declaring this independence stands, to this day, as one of the most memorable and stirring ever composed in the English language. It is the struggle for human rights summed up succinctly:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

But, we’ll not bog this entry down with talk of bloody revolutions, and the even bloodier wars fought since in the name of defending our freedoms. (You can see where we’ve previously blogged of such things here however.)

Instead, a quick, completely biased, and somewhat arbitrary overview of things that are entirely unique to, and brilliant about, this country of ours. Some born of the hardships of our flawed nation, some directly possible because of the freedoms it provides, all unique to this incredible land of ours and the simple vision upon which it was founded.

12 minutes (all that survives) of John Coltrane’s only ever live performance of “A Love Supreme:



“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” sequence from Disney‘s 1940 masterpiece, Fantasia:



2009 documentary Jim Thorpe: The World’s Greatest Athlete:




A live performance by blues great Lightnin’ Hopkins:




George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue:



This 1975 Chevrolet ad is a lesser work (and a lesser year for the car manufacturer), but nonetheless comes to mind today: