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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, America!

1976. The Two-hundreth anniversary of the founding of our nation. I can't believe it's been THIRTY YEARS since the American Bicentennial in 1976! This was one of the big events of my teenage years (I was 15) and the memories seem like it happened just yesterday.

I remember vividly the TALL SHIPS celebration, where they gathered as many tall sailing ships from around the world as they could find and sailed them to visit various American ports... we saw a couple of them in Baltimore, and they were very grand.

And then we visited Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell up close and personal.

And then there was the merchandising... there was Bicentennial stuff EVERYWHERE, long before there was that type of "product saturation" in America... everything was Red, White and Blue and we all felt very proud to be part of this momentous national celebration... so naturally, we bought the stuff.

There were Bicentennial versions of those newfangled pocket calculators, though at $99 a pop, these were not toys!:

T-shirts were quickly becoming the nation's casual wear of choice:

You could even trick out your Mustang II (ugh!) or Pinto (double ugh!) with "Special Accent Kits":

And for the burgeoning Craft market, for that "Betsy Ross" look:

Uh... I never saw one of these, but I do remember a train engine painted up like this:

How about this cool Bicentennial Muscle Bike for some groovy chick:

And we can't forget how Disney almost co-opted the Bicentennial by flooding the country with stuff like this:

There were even some cool comic books out like this Kirby-filled Treasury Edition:

Even the fire hydrants and public mailboxes got painted up like Revolutionary heroes or covered with patriotic themes...

And there were lots of parades and speeches, and the largest fireworks displays ever were held all around the country as communities tried to outdo each other in patriotic fervor... we were America and it was our 200th birthday! Here's to our 230th!

H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y,
A M E R I C A!

SPECIAL EXTRA CREDIT BONUS: HERE'S a link to the full text of the Declaration of Independence, with an audio link to it being read by various correspondents at NPR... this document still resonates today, doesn't it?


At 7/04/2006 8:30 PM, Blogger polly said...

Happy 4th of July!

At 7/04/2006 10:53 PM, Blogger Manager Ken said...

God Bless America...My Home! Sweet! (Big ending....)Hooooooooooooooome!!!!! Thank you! Goodnight! (Cheering crowd sounds....)..

How many comic "American" heroes can you name? I will start: Captain America...oooohhhh nice one Ken....Next?

At 7/04/2006 10:55 PM, Blogger Manager Ken said...

Hey Bill, is that picture (one down from the patch) of the bandstand, is that the square of Gettysburg? I believe it is...

Just wonderin'

At 7/04/2006 11:17 PM, Blogger G-evan said...

Justice League of AMERICA. Does that count?

At 7/05/2006 7:01 PM, Blogger Bill at Comix Connection said...

All-Star Squadron
All-Star Winners Squadron
American Belle
Isaiah Bradley
Captain America
Captain Flag
Commander Steel
Creature Commandos
Crusaders (comics)
Fighting American
Force of July
Freedom Fighters (comics)
Josiah X
Lady Liberty (comics)
Liberty Belle (comics)
Liberty Legion
Major Victory
Mayflower (comics)
Miss America (DC Comics)
Miss America (Marvel Comics)
Miss America (comics)
Nomad (comics)
Patriot (comics)
Red, White and Blue
Silent Majority (comics)
Skyrocket (comics)
Sparkler (comics)
Star-Spangled Kid
Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.
Tex Thompson
U.S. Agent
Uncle Sam (comics)
Young All-Stars
Young Allies

That's just off the top of my head...

At 7/05/2006 7:11 PM, Blogger Bill at Comix Connection said...


At 7/05/2006 9:59 PM, Blogger polly said...

Show off.

At 7/06/2006 1:07 AM, Blogger G-evan said...

Bill: ...


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