This blog post was written by Rick Shenkman, the founder of George Washington University’s History News Network, and the author of Political Animals: How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics (Basic Books).
Americans, despite what you hear, know plenty of history.* Among the things they know is that July 4th is when we declared our independence. Alas, this isn't true.
You can find out the real story on my show, Myth America, which first aired twenty-five years ago on The Learning Channel. The show runs 30 minutes. Your illusions will be shattered.
Click here to watch.
*I am plagiarizing myself here. This is how I opened my first book on myths, Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths of American History (1988).