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July 4, 2016

Happy Birthday to Us

Harry M. Covert

Never thought I'd reach the 240th birthday of the greatest country on the planet. I most certainly have, as have so many millions today; so without further ado, let’s eat, drink and be merry.


We must also welcome with great joy hundreds of newly sworn in citizens, who studied and crammed to pass the tests, and who took the oath of allegiance from judges. How proud they are, and we must admire their determination.


This celebration abounds around our county and state and all over the nation. Let's proudly wave the flag, smile and enjoy festivities. We can just ignore for the moment all the sad hullabaloo surrounding world events.


Lots of native-borns would be vexed at the test questions for new citizens. I'm not talking about those persons described as Native Americans or Indians.


Professor Covert has developed some queries from history for longtime citizens to consider.


For example, before you stand up and swear again:


Q. Who's the first president of the US? John Hanson, George Washington, Booker T. Washington, Jefferson Davis.


Q. Who authored the Star Spangled Banner? John Phillip Sousa, Francis Scott Key, Prince, Michael Jackson.


Q. Was the Boston Tea Party really at Baltimore's Inner Harbor? Yes or No.


Q. Who Dumped the Tea? Thomas J. Lipton, Tom Brady, Johnny Unitas?


Q. Did British settlers arrive first at Fort McHenry, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Sumter?


Q. Who said "the business of America is business". Cal Ripken, Jr., Cal Thomas, Cal Coolidge?


Q. Which First Lady (FLOTUS) was crossed eyed? Mrs. U.S. Grant, Mrs. Robert E. Lee, Mrs. Woodrow Wilson?


Q. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Johnson, Thomas Jefferson, Tommy Dorsey.


Q. Which television network covered Lincoln's Gettysburg Address? Al Jazeera, the BBC, CNN?


Q. Which reporter covered Teddy Roosevelt's assault on San Juan Hill? Baltimore's Henry Mencken, CBS' Walter Cronkite, NBC's Brian Williams.


Q. Who are Maryland's favorite pin ups? Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Mikulski, Jan Gardner.


Final question: from a Frederick Community College Trustee's meeting, the handwriting on the wall said: “Why?” Trustee Nick Diaz got it right. His answer: "Why not?" He was named to another five-year term. Who is the governor? Ben Hogan, Larry Hogan, Charlie Hogan.


So, by authority granted to me as honorary judge for this examination by the late Bob Waltz, the late Mike Fitzgerald and the late Maury Hassett, if readers get one answer, they are confirmed citizens for another year.


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