Fireworks, Jefferson, and brioche
The real meaning behind July 4 is the right to bake bread.
Unfortunately, history isn't always as accurate as we'd like. Fortunately, a recent discovery of the notes of a conversation between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in the summer of 1776 has shed new light on one murky piece of the past – the origins of the Fourth of July.
Jefferson: I'm sweating through my breeches, John.
Adams: It's boiling, Tom. Who chose Philadelphia in July? Franklin?
Jefferson: Probably. Loves his cheesesteak.
Adams: No kidding.
Jefferson: Speaking of chubs, seen the Madisons around town?
Adams: Funny you should ask. I'm walking down the street and I see James and the Missis. So, being a friendly guy I start singing, "Hello, Dolley..."
Adams: Nothing. I even added a, "you're looking swell, Dolley," and still no reaction. Very unmusical family.
Jefferson: Any weekend plans?
Adams: Another family barbecue. Sam's doing ox ribs. A little fatty for my taste but one rib can feed 20. You?
Jefferson: No big plans. Catching up on my wig powdering. Franklin's coming over for some kite flying.
Adams: Boring with a capital "B."
Jefferson: Yep, just another dull July 4th.
Adams: You know, I think we need another holiday.
Jefferson: Another one? We already have Take A Servant To Lunch Wednesday and You're A Lump, King George Sunday. How many holidays can a nation have?
Adams: We need something in the summer. Something before that holiday John Hancock came up with – Have An Insurance Salesman For Coffee Thursday.
Jefferson: So, what were you thinking?
Adams: Well, you know how you love all those Renaissance guys? How about You Were a Heck of a Mime, Leonardo da Vinci Fourth of July.
Jefferson: Was he a heck of a mime?
Adams: Who knows? Is anyone going to argue?
Jefferson: Guess not. But we need a better reason for a holiday.
Adams: How about we draw pictures of hearts and give them to people we like? I want to call them valentines.
Jefferson: Forget it, I'm not a great drawer, can't tell my heart from a liver.
Adams: Maybe we could send some flowers to people we like instead. Roses would be nice.
Jefferson: So, I'm supposed to send you flowers? Little strange, John, if you ask me.
Adams: Well, you know this thing we've been writing?
Jefferson: My grocery list?
Adams: No, the Declaration of... what did you call it?
Jefferson: Brioche baking.
Adams: That's what you're calling it?
Jefferson: You like croissant baking instead?
Adams: No. This is about freedom.
Jefferson: Exactly. Freedom to bake French rolls.
Adams: Tom, I think we should think bigger.
Adams: How about Independence?
Jefferson: Is that like a raisin pumpernickel?
Adams: No, it's about the rights of man.
Jefferson: Ohhh, I like that. So we'll make the Fourth of July the holiday for the right to bake whatever you'd like?
Adams: Right. With fireworks.
Jefferson: And brioche.
Adams: We'll see. Then what about the heart drawing?
Jefferson: Save it for Christmas.
Adams: It's a deal. And we do the ox ribs for Thanksgiving. I think we got the start of a country here.