Found on the Web: No, the United States is not 2,014 years old today - Note for a lecture, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United"
By Craig Hlavaty, The Texican, on July 4, 2014 at 10:29 AM
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Two pop-culture news outlets have discovered that the math of some Americans is pretty fuzzy when it comes to the age of our nation.
Both Twitchy and BuzzFeed have noticed that some people in these blessed United States believe that our country turns 2,014 years old today.
If that was true, then we’d have beaten the record of the Roman Empire long ago, which roughly lasted 1,700 years. America is actually 238 years old today. The Declaration of Independence was adopted and published on July 4, 1776 by the Continental Congress and delegates began signing it later that August.
Apparently the same thing happened last year. You can see some of the tweets that they have collected over the past few days on their respective sites.
Let’s all hope that these Twitter users are joking. There is no way to detect sarcasm online just yet. It’s hard to believe that some people think that Jesus Christ and America were roughly born at the same period in time, but when you take into account that some kids thought that the film “Titanic” was not based on a true story, anything is possible.
Of course if you are of the mind that the United States as we know it began with the adoption of the Constitution in 1789, or when it was first recognized by England in 1783, it’s younger than 238 years old.
Take Tylenol for any headaches you may have just come down with.
The Texican recommends a washing it down with beer or your favorite brown water. Remember, all that really matters is that Texas is 178 years old.
A Princeton PhD, was a U.S. diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Central/Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. After leaving the State Department in order to express opposition to the planned invasion of Iraq, he taught courses at Georgetown University pertaining to the tension between propaganda and public diplomacy. For many years he shared ideas on the theme "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" with Eurasian/European delegates participating in the "Open World" program.
Brown’s articles have appeared in numerous publications. A recent piece is “Janus-Faced Public Diplomacy: Creel and Lippmann During the Great War” (published in Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future; now online).
He is the author (with S. Grant) of The Russian Empire and the USSR: A Guide to Manuscripts and Archival Materials in the United States (also online). In the past century, he served as an editor/translator of a joint U.S.-Soviet publication, The Establishment of Russian-American Relations, 1765-1815.