ABC-6 Reporter Mark Curtis: "The Sunday Political Brunch" July 7 - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather


ABC-6 Reporter Mark Curtis: "The Sunday Political Brunch" July 7, 2013

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

(Providence, Rhode Island) – It is the long Fourth of July weekend, so we we'll dispense with the serious politics today. Instead we'll share some fun facts and trivia about our country's birthday and heritage. Enjoy!

"Double Vision" – Not only did John Adams and Thomas Jefferson sign the Declaration of Independence, they also later became President of the United States. But the most interesting coincidence they shared is that they both died within hours of each other on July 4th, 1826. The two were bitter rivals who did not like each other at all. Legend has it that Adams' last words were, "Thomas Jefferson still survives." But it wasn't true. His archrival beat him to the punch, dying five hours before Adams.

"Three's a Crowd?" – Oddly enough, Adams and Jefferson were not the only Presidents to die on the 4th of July. James Monroe, our nation's fifth President died on July 4, 1831. So the second, third, and fifth Presidents all died on the 4th, and all were members of, "The Founding Fathers." What are the odds?

"A Proud Tradition" – There were parades galore across the United States on Thursday, but which is the granddaddy of them all? Bristol, Rhode Island held its 228th Fourth of July Celebration, the longest running tradition in the United States. I was proud to be one of the announcers for the broadcast on WLNE-TV ABC6 in Providence. What an honor, and what a parade!

"Happy 2nd of July!" – In truth the Declaration of Independence was actually approved on July 2, 1776, but was not published in the newspaper until July 4. John Adams still wanted all the celebrations on the 2nd, but was overruled.

"A Signature Moment" – Everyone knows John Hancock's famous bold signature. In truth he was the first and only one to actually sign the document on July 4th. It took another month to collect the signatures of the other 56 people who approved it.

"Around the Globe" – July 4th is not just a tradition in the U.S. People have celebrated it, in one way or another, on every continent. In 1934, American explorer Richard Byrd and his crew set of fireworks in Antarctica, even though it was 34 degrees below zero!

"Paint the Town Green!" – For many of the early years, "red, white and blue" was not the tradition. Colored fabric was rare and expensive in the early days of our nation, so there weren't many flags. Instead people used greenery to decorate their homes and towns in celebration.

"Happy Birthday America, and…" – The nation may celebrate its birthday on the Fourth of July, but also celebrating birthdays on July 4th are our 30th President Calvin Coolidge, and First Daughter Malia Obama. 

"God Bless….Kate Smith?" – Famed songwriter Irving Berlin wrote "God Bless America" for a play he was scoring in 1918, but the tune was dropped from the production. It sat on his shelf collecting dust for the next 20 years. In 1938, singer Kate Smith asked Berlin if he had any patriotic songs she could sing for Armistice Day (now Veterans Day). Berlin handed her "God Bless America! The rest, they say, is history!

As always I welcome your thoughts! Click the comment button at

© 2013, MarkCurtisMedia, LLC.






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