Interesting that Len Goodman mentioned to Jane Seymour on Dancing With The Stars that today (Nov. 5) is Fireworks day in England. I think that most of the American audience went "Huh?" And I would have been right with them if I had not read earlier today's post by Scott Horton at his No Comment blog. A real tip of the hat to him for explaining this day of celebration, how it fits into today's world.
To sum up this day, it commemorates the foiling of a plot to blow up King James I and Parliament. England then used this day to burn the Pope in effigy and persecute all Catholics who were blamed for this attempt at destroying the government.
Horton then gives this quote to explain why the U.S. has never observed this celebration:
Order in Quarters issued by General George Washington, November 5, 1775:
As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope–He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.