Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Shot Heard Round the World

Sobered as we must be by the terrible events in Boston this week, we must nevertheless note that Friday, April 19 is the 238th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Although Paul Revere's ride was not nearly so successful as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow made it out to be (Revere was arrested by the British en route) it was successful enough. The Patriot militia were assembled in time to frustrate British hopes of confiscating colonists' arms and provisions. The image of 'the shot heard round the world' comes from the first stanza Ralph Waldo Emerson's Concord Hymn, written for the 1837 dedication of a monument to the battle at Concord:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

Friday will also be National Hanging Out Day, which is not (as you might think) a day for loafing around but, rather, a day to encourage folks to hang their laundry outdoors to dry. A project of Project Laundry List, National Hanging Out Day reminds us all that the old-fashioned clothesline is now cutting-edge green technology.

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, in which he wrote that "all men are created equal," nevertheless sold an indentured servant named John Freeman to another Founding Father, James Madison, on April 19, 1809.

On a lighter note, Friday will also be National Garlic Day. Given the popularity of vampires in popular culture, does anyone want garlic anymore to ward them off?

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