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
image from article
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 US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" (http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/notes-and-references-for-discussion-e.html). Affiliated with Georgetown University (http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/jhb7/) for over ten years, he still shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."