Today is the day we officially signed the treaty declaring our independence from Great Britain! At my house we celebrate it just like millions of other Americans do -- I get dressed up like someone like 1783 (what you do is buy a 1776 costume and let it sit around for seven years), sit the kids down with li'l tankards of Hearty Early American Ale, and read to them the stirring words of this historic, immortal document:
It is agreed that the people of the United States shall continue to enjoy unmolested the right to take fish of every kind on the Grand Bank, and on all the other banks of Newfoundland; also in the Gulph of Saint Lawrence, and at all other places in the sea where the inhabitants of both countries used at any time heretofore to fish.Was it for this that we suffered at Valley Forge? Yes, and not only that -- for we also won the right to dry fish on the uninhabited parts of Labrador as well. Basically you could call this the bureaucrats' Fourth of July, for all stirring sentiments must one day come down to practical matters of who gets to fish where. You campaign in poetry, as Mario Cuomo said, but you govern in prose.
Speaking of New Yorkers, John Jay is one of the co-authors of this treaty. I don't quite know enough early American history to complete the term
John Jay: Founding Fathers::X:Y.
Is he the Tommy Henrich of the Founding Fathers? The Dee Dee Ramone? Is he a serviceable gin-and-tonic on the bar menu of the birth of America? Help me out. Until then, remember the stirring conclusion of Article X:
The solemn ratifications of the present treaty, expedited in good and due form, shall be exchanged between the contracting parties, in the space of six months, or sooner if possible, to be computed from the day of the signature of the present treaty.Be safe driving home, on holidays like today the cops crack down hard.