Don’t Try This at Home

One of my earliest memories was of the Fourth of July when my grandfather, an ex-marine, made some kind of homemade cannon/mortar out of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans with the tops and bottoms cut out. If I remember correctly, he’d duct tape them together, pour some lighter fluid down the tube and ignite it, making a big boom. I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. Of course, my overprotective mom got pissed off (I had to have been under five years old), but I egged him on to do it over and over.

He died on the Fourth of July when I was five years old, so when I hear all of the booms going off this time of year, I always remember him.

Disclaimer: Don’t go out and try to make your beer can cannon; just don’t. I’m not advocating that; SOFREP certainly isn’t advocating that. Our attorneys here would hang me from a yardarm, and besides, I don’t want anyone getting hurt. Have a safe and happy Fourth.


So, how did we get from being British subjects to having a holiday where we get to blow stuff up, cook out, and take Monday off of work? Glad you asked. Independence Day has been a national holiday since 1941, but its roots go back way further than that. As you probably have heard by now, on July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Independence from King George. Two days later, delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence as drafted by Thomas Jefferson.