What do UK Dopers think about July 4th?

Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s on a Wednesday this year. Ha ha.

We were talking about this at work this past week, since we do have some business relationships with folks over in London. I recently sent them a work schedule for next month, along with a note that July 4th is a holiday for us and we would be closed.

I know it’s been a few years, and we are friends now, so I was just wondering if July 4th has any special meaning for the UK folk, other than, “Damn, we lost that one,” sort of thing.

Similarly, I was wondering how Japanese visitors feel when they tour the Pearl Harbour Memorial. Not that I expect them to beg forgiveness or anything, but I was wondering if touring the Memorial made them uncomfortable.

Not even that really, to be honest. I’d imagine most people have an idea what it means, but it wasn’t that significant an event in our history. I’ve heard about American ex-pats having 4th July parties and barbeques and inviting the neighbours - any excuse for a party and no hard feelings!

For the vast majority of British folk, it doesn’t even mean that. No meaning at all.

Do Americans think about Reunification Day in Vietnam? The event that commemorates is within living memory, after all.

As far as discomfort goes, when I visited the Museum of the Chinese Revolution in Beijing about 10 years ago, I felt pretty uncomfortable about all the western intervention into China documented in that museum, even though it was all well before I was born.

I’ve seen themed July 4th goods on display in British supermarkets before, stuff for barbecues and cases of Budweiser, things like that (not that you can’t buy those anyway, but on promotional display). I don’t think they were aimed at the small US ex-pat community. So I think it’s safe to say we’re not sensitive about it.

It hard enough getting Britons understanding anything that happened before last weeks Hello magazine, July 4th not a hope.

It doesn’t even make our ‘don’t care’ in tray, the loss of the New Colonies is crashingly trivial.

Now as for those Frenchies invading us back in 1066, thats another matter.

Well, nice to know there’s no hard feelings. :wink:

I’d say that there mostly aren’t any hard feelings remaining against even the Germans - apart from that whole towel business.

The thing I’ve noticed since the interweb came along and I’ve had occasion to chat with Americans regularly, is how they all know so much about the war of independence and related events. Naturally enough, in hindsight, but it seems like you are all taught the basics of it (or a version of it :wink: ) in school. Whereas Britons are largely ignorant of it. People threw tea in Boston harbour, some guy rode very far on a horse, George Washington had wooden teeth and never told a lie. That’s it, and I’m probably in the top 10% for knowledge of American history! Things like the British burning down Washington DC, I had never heard about until sombody quipped about it on here.

Back about 30 some odd years ago, we visited Englad (I was just a wee lass then) and my father encountered some hostility from some of the English folk…they were mad that we Yanks took so long to enter WWII.

I’m assuming those feelings are no longer prevalant?

What towel business?

Hey, I bet we Americans are woefully ignorant on a lot of British history, so I’m not surprised that Brits don’t know a lot of American history.

I’ve always heard it was a celebrated occasion in the UK. Good Riddance Day, they call it.

Ach, we have shiny new reasons to be mad at you Yanks now.

I’ve always been told that we beat ourselves. :stuck_out_tongue:

Like that whole Beckham brouhaha?

The details of the war of 1812 are almost unknown over here. We were preoccupied with those pesky French at the time. However the song “Battle of New Orleans” was a decent sized hit over here.

One thing I’ve always wondered about US history is whether the pilgrims were the same puritans (obviously not the actual same people) that made life so miserable over here when Cromwell was in power (for instance, no dancing or Christmas). If they were, then the whole “escaping religious persecution” malarky is a bit rich considering the amount of persecuting those buggers did when they were in power.

I’d say they are not common. There is also the possibility that your Dad was getting his leg pulled a little, and it didn’t come across as intended. I’ve found that sometimes some aspects of British humour are easy to misconstrue.

Woah, this is a can of worms! :wink: German tourists are frequently stereotyped as the sort of people who get up very early in the morning in order to drape a towel over the sunloungers around the hotel pool, thus depriving lazy late-rising Brits of a prime spot.

Err, no - you are quite welcome to keep the pair of them.

Yes, they were, but they left Britain before Cromwell came to power, so they hadn’t yet had their shot at being persecutors instead of persecutees.

Ahh… cool.

Seems I need to do some history reading, can’t believe I thought Cromwell came first :slight_smile: