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With the 4th of July holiday upon us, I thought it would be good to start this post with a Google Street View image of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence came into being so many years ago. That document had a profound and abundant impact on the foundation of the United States, which is well established. However it also carried through to its geography. People understanding the sacrifices necessary create, defend and protect the nation expressed their pride and appreciation throughout the landscape.
- Independence. Towns by this name are found in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, California, Kentucky, Ohio, Oregon, Louisiana, Virginia, and Wisconsin
- Freedom. Let Freedom ring in towns bearing this name in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, Indiana, Idaho, California, Wyoming, and Missouri.
- Liberty. There is liberty in Missouri, Texas, South Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, New York, Illinois, and Tennessee
- Patriot. One can be particularly patriotic in places named this way in Ohio and Indiana.
- Fourth of July. The USGS Geographic Names Information System lists 104 different features (streams, lakes, mountains, etc.) named "Fourth of July!"
- Sparks. OK, this one is stretching it. There are no towns named Fireworks or Sparkler, but Sparks can be found in Nevada, Georgia, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
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A special mention goes to Missouri where Independence and Liberty reside in close proximity to each other. Independence, MO is also well-known as the hometown of President Harry S. Truman (yes, I’m familiar with the controversy about his middle initial and the consensus is that there should indeed be a dot after the S). A visit to the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is indeed worthwhile.
Enjoy the day off but somewhere between the parades, the hot dogs and the day at the beach, let’s take a moment to remember and appreciate why this is a holiday.