The recent Sesquicentennial celebrations for West Virginia Day got me thinking about another “centennial” celebration I lived through…the nation’s bicentennial.
At nine-years-old, I didn’t realize the historical significance and context of the year. Think about it: Saigon fell a little more than a year before in April 1975. Gerald Ford was president, after becoming Vice President following Agnew’s resignation and then President following Nixon’s. The country was ending a long period of tumult and turmoil that included protests and riots. And we all thought disco music was great.
Flash forward 37 years and tomorrow is another Fourth of July celebration. There is discontent and frustration here, but to me it doesn’t seem to be as bad as it was for the Bicentennial. We are ending two wars, and there is social and political unrest. We are slowly coming out of a recession.
My biggest question, at this point, is what do we call the 250thanniversary of our nation’s founding in 2026? Quarter Millennial? Bicenquinquagenary? Sestercentennial? Semiquincentennial? Those are all options…