03rd Jul 2024 by George King

July 4th: A Day of Historical Significance for Both Sides of the Atlantic


There’s always been a special historical connection between the UK and the US. While that relationship started out as adversarial in the extreme (rebels or freedom fighters…it’s all down to one’s perspective!), it has evolved over the last couple of centuries into a particular cultural, political and to a lesser degree economic affinity that is quaintly captured as “the special relationship”. The term was supposedly first used by Prime Minister Winston Churchill during WWII to describe the close allyship and cooperation between the two countries. This week will mark an unusual alignment between the US and the UK in that even our countries diaries will be in synch, when both countries will be paying particular attention to Thursday the 4th of July.   

For the US, this is usually a day filled with BBQs and picnics, family gatherings and outdoor activities, as the nation celebrates its historical independence (hmmm…from whom again, was that?). Red, white, and blue colours become the fashion norm for the day, flags are fluttering everywhere you look, and the night sky across the country is painted with fireworks. Happily, for Americans celebrating the 4th in the UK, the same colour scheme works here and we tend not to focus too much on the bit about from whom the US became independent. The reality of celebrating events abroad as an expat is that often those celebrations take place at any time from the weekend before to the weekend afterwards – since the day itself isn’t a national holiday here – but it is still THE key day. 
For the UK, the nation will go to the polls to choose a new government, which looks likely to mark an historical moment, as well. The Tories have been the primary governing party since 2010 but trail badly in all surveys and polls on most important questions. If they find a way to surmount that deficit and extend their 14-year stretch at the helm, that would be a truly remarkable outcome. The odd-makers however are pointing to a Labour victory, with the potential for that win to be an historic landslide. So the UK vote on the 4th will be hard-fought and closely watched. 
Whatever your political persuasion or national heritage, there’s a reason to mark this Thursday as an important day for both countries.

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