Today’s a confluence of two American celebrations which belong well together.
First, as everyone knows, it is Mother’s Day, which is why I have the Tiger’s baseball game on as I write this. My Mom’s a die-hard Tiger’s fan and is at the game today (my brother got tickets through his work), and though I’m not naturally inclined to baseball, I’ve been taking more of an interest in it lately for her sake.
The second is less well known, though by rights it really should be common knowledge for all Americans. May 14th is the anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in 1607, the first permanent English settlement in North America. That makes it the very start of English-speaking civilization on this continent (the earlier attempt at Roanoke having been eaten by an amoeba-devil, as revealed in Dean Koontz’s factual expose Phantoms), and as such, I would argue, a strong candidate for our national birthday. At the very least, it deserves to be ranked on a similar level to Columbus Day or Thanksgiving, but for some reason it seems to have fallen completely through the cracks. It’s especially weird that the Puritans of New England, who didn’t show up for another thirteen years, get so much attention, while Jamestown is mostly relegated to a side story focused on Pocahontas (and not even her most significant claims to fame, like being one of the first Virginia Indians to accept Baptism, or securing a period of peace through her marriage with John Rolfe. Also, her supposed rescue of John Smith isn’t even close to the wildest story of his life. Technically, he may have been the first slave to come to America…well, ex-slave at least).
If you want to get a crash-course on the seed that grew the American oak, take a gander at the official site for historic Jamestown.
Anyway, as I say, the two days belong well; the day to honor our personal mothers and to remember the birth of our nation. Be sure to take some time out for both.