We're about ten days away from July 4th. Do you have any plans? I love the Fourth of July. Independence Day really is the perfect summer holiday. The Fourth of July brings an absolutely sublime juxtaposition of summer fun and a perfect opportunity to express our patriotism and love of our country. Now’s the time to celebrate all those great American ideals that make our country what it is and what makes it great and have some memorable summertime fun at the same time! To help get you into a patriotic and celebratory mood, here are some lesser known fun facts that are a part of the history of the US of A, all brought to you courtesy of the red, white and blue!
A Turkey…Really? You may not realize this, but when it came to very early discussions about which of our feathered friends should represent our country as the official bird and the flying symbol of the United States of America, Benjamin Franklin actually had a different idea than the elegant and regal Bald Eagle that we are familiar with today. Good ol’ Ben actually thought that the official bird of the United States of America should be a wild turkey! I’m sure we are all very happy that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams outvoted Franklin on this one.
Barbecue…American Style. What could be considered a more all-American tradition than a family style barbecue or cookout on the Fourth of July? During the Fourth of July weekend alone, Americans will down over 155 million hot dogs…and that doesn’t even count all the burgers, chicken and potato salad that will likely be accompanying all those juicy frankfurters! Hot Dogs were first named such by a cartoonist who was attending a 1901 baseball game. Tad Dorgan heard various vendors selling these bun-wrapped sausages, while shouting out, “Get your Dachshund sausages while they are red hot!” While creating a cartoon depicting the scene he was witnessing, Mr. Dorgan had no idea how to spell dachshund, so he just called the wieners “hot dogs”…the name apparently stuck and the rest, my friends, is history!
The First Flag…Thirteen Stars in a Circle: Do you know why the very first American Flag created by Betsy Ross had thirteen white stars strategically placed in a circle on the field of blue? The thirteen stars represented the thirteen original colonies. The stars were purposefully arranged in a circle to symbolize the equality of the original colonies. Other arrangements and designs of the first flag were presented in those early days, but the one created by Betsy Ross that contained the circular arrangement of the stars was the one that was ultimately chosen. Good work, Betsy!
The National Anthem…There’s More? Did you know that the National Anthem actually has four verses? Most Americans these days sadly struggle to get through just the first verse, the most well known verse of our beloved anthem. The truth is that in the original song, Francis Scott Key had penned four complete verses that are definitely worth reading! Check out this guy belting out verse four of the Star Spangled Banner!
After spending Father’s Day barbecuing and honoring dad’s everywhere, now we here at Halloween Express want to pay some due homage to a few of the very special and even quirky daddy’s that we have lurking around these parts. Dedication, devotion, humor and sometimes a whole lot of goofiness define these famous and legendary dads. These padres have made our unique list of memorable pops because they have set the bar pretty high…at least in the areas of their own unique brand of expertise!
Mike Brady-Mike Brady became the head of the household to what could arguably be television’s most well known blended family -- THE BRADY BUNCH! Widowed, with three lively boys to now bring up on his own, Mike Brady then met Carol who had ironically found herself in the same situation with three girls. From there can you say kismet, followed by instant big family? Mike Brady, an architect by trade, added infrastructure, calm as well as a voice of reason to his brood of young ruffians--all with a lot of seventies style class and finesse. You could count on Mr. Brady to always look positively groovy with wide collars, mod prints and at one point, even a perfectly coifed ‘fro.
George Jetson-This space age papa has worked his way up in the stratosphere, making his career at Spacely’s Space Sprockets, where he spends most of his day pushing buttons that make…well, sprockets. George is a loving and mild-mannered family man but can be prone to getting stressed out when he begins to sense that he has begun to lose control of his futuristic household.
Gomez Addams-Gomez Addams has to be the hands-down favorite dad when it comes to masterfully carrying off the best-dressed, spooky chic look of the Addams Family. Gomez, who is a filthy rich, unabashed spender, is almost always sporting a dark suit and tie, looking dashing, smashing and fashionable for his beloved Morticia, who usually is sexing up the joint herself in a clingy, cobweb-infused gown. An accomplished juggler and knife-thrower, Gomez is also a very devoted father to Pugsley and Wednesday and is absolutely crazy about his wife Morticia. Gomez clearly loves his family madly and isn’t afraid to show it in his own completely over the top and eccentric way.
Herman Munster-Herman Munster looks a lot like Frankenstein, and claims to actually have been created by Dr. Frankenstein himself. At some point, Herman moved to Transylvania and met Lily Dracula who became his loving wife. Herman and Lily have one child, Eddie and are also helping raise Marilyn, who is the daughter of Lily’s sister. Herman is basically an extremely naïve and bumbling idiot that is always finding himself in various situations that confound him as well as Lily, his levelheaded wife. Not fully understanding the fact that many local folks are actually terrified of his monstrous appearance, Herman often brushes off these fearful reactions as something else entirely. A devoted as well as playful father, Herman loves playing with his son Eddie’s toys almost as much as Eddie does. For a doting dad with a flat head that looks pretty scary, this guy actually seems pretty darn human.
Fred Flintstone-Fred Flintstone is a rather obnoxious, loud-mouthed, scheming and opinionated working class guy just trying to earn a living, putting in his time as a crane operator for the Slate Rock and Gravel Company. Fred is oddly lovable, but at the same time, he can be highly annoying and tends to be prone to immature temper tantrums. It’s a good thing he usually has his loyal sidekick Barney around to keep him grounded as well as his devoted wife, Wilma who is always nearby to bail him out of whatever mess he has inevitably found himself in. An avid bowler, Fred is friendly, enjoys gambling and is most known for his famous catch phrase, “Yabba Dabba Doo!”
Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) -This bayou dwelling, heavily bearded, self-proclaimed redneck and patriarch to the Duck Dynasty crew has made his vast fortune doing what he loves--making duck calls. What grew out of an obsession for hunting, over time became a multi-million dollar enterprise, but all that money changed little in Phil Robertson’s world. Phil has called himself a “low tech man in a high tech world” and still maintains a firm grip on his family priorities and simple way of living.
Homer Simpson-Homer Simpson absolutely takes the donut when it comes to being the most childish of our group of illustrious dads. Forever a juvenile delinquent himself, Homer seems to make an art out of being a big kid in a grown up, frumpy body. Homer is not only bald and overweight, but he’s crude, lazy and he drinks too much. When it comes to brains or common sense, Homer has little and is usually looking for the quickest, easiest answer involving the least amount of effort to solve any problem he may be facing. In spite of his many flaws, however, Homer may very well be one of the most beloved dads out there. In spite of fits of rage and attempts at strangling his only son, Bart, Homer often still enlists Bart as his best buddy and partner in crime when it comes to various Homer-fueled shenanigans. Homer is known to do most anything for a donut and also enjoys spending hours drinking beer with his friends down at Moe’s Tavern. You can bet that wherever you may find this yellow-skinned, bald and pudgy working class dad, he’s using all 55 points of his IQ and finding lots of reasons to exclaim, “D’oh!”
Dads. Making the world a better place one crazy guy at a time!