“American Things” Not Born In America
Within the United States, there are a plethora of cultures, religions, and nationalities that collectively form a melting pot. Nevertheless, despite our differences, we are Americans.
The Declaration of Independence states, in short, that all men are created equal, that we are entitled to certain rights that may not be taken away, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Regardless of the individual cultural practices that families across the country have, there are certain things in the United States that are deeply engrained in American Culture, right? Wait, just how “American” are they? You may be surprised to know that some of the things that many Americans identify with, aren’t very American at all.
The Star-Spangled Banner
Our country’s National Anthem is sung at various sporting events across the country, but you may be surprised to learn that the song of our country isn’t exactly American. The only aspect of the song that makes it American is that it was written by a songwriter who was from Maryland, however, its musical selection is from Britain. Furthermore, it was arranged by a German (non-American) composer.
Country music and cowboys go hand in hand, but hold your horses! While Americans believe that cowboys first originated out in the wild west, the truth is, the first true cowboys have roots in Spain.
You’ve heard the expression, “as American as apple pie” before, in addition to being served apple pie on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, as it turns out, apple pie isn’t very American. In fact, the first recorded apple pie recipe was published in England before the 1600’s. Moreover, records indicate that the dessert did not make its way to the United States until the 18th century.
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Hot Dogs and Baseball
I know, I know, now it’s getting personal! Baseball has long been an American past-time, and what better way to enjoy the game then to eat a hot dog?! We can thank the Germans for inventing hot dogs, not Americans. Baseball, on the other hand, was technically “invented” by an American, however, baseball is nearly identical to the combination of two English games: rounders and cricket.
Fireworks have become a permanent fixture in American culture. Imagine how quiet and drab the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve would be without the explosion of color in the sky in celebration of these holidays! And while they are a part of our culture, they actually originated in China. Lastly, while we are talking about the Fourth of July, which celebrates the day America adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776, it’s important to note that the Statue of Liberty (our country’s symbol for freedom) was a gift from France.