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Founding Day

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The anniversary of the founding of a city, a state, a country, or any other geographic region (whether it be real or fictional), is often a cause for celebration. These are even more festive when the anniversary is a centennial (100-year), bicentennial (200-year), etc.

Truth in Television, as founding celebrations often take place in real life, with possibly the most famous one being Independence Day (July 4) in the United States (with its 1976 Bicentennial being more of a celebration than usual).

May be a Fictional Holiday.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Big O: "Heaven's Day" is a celebration of the day Paradigm City was founded. It's clearly related to Christmas (giving presents, trees, etc.), and Alex Rosewater seems to know the significance of its trappings, and mentions it's "the day God's son was born" - which has some ominous overtones given his ambitions...
  • A Certain Magical Index: Academy City's independence day is October 9th.

    Comic Books 
  • After Eden is about six characters whose love lives are changed in an unnamed city who is celebrating its centennial townfest.
  • DC Comics
    • Comics cover-dated July 1976 featured a banner at the top saying "DC Comics Salutes the Bicentennial".
    • One of DC's infamous cash grabs was a tie-in comic titled Superman Salutes the Bicentennial, where Superman only appears briefly to introduce reprints of stories about DC's Revolutionary War hero Tomahawk.
  • Unlike the DC example above, Marvel Comics released the comic Captain America's Bicentennial Battles, featuring an all-new Captain America story written and drawn by Jack Kirby.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "The Prisoner Of Stone", Smurfy Friendship Day, which is celebrated as a second Valentine's Day, is actually the day when the Smurf Village was first founded by its various settlers.
  • Harvey Girls Forever Fanon:
    • The episode "The Girls Who Called Wolf" takes place on the week of the founding day of Harvey Street, and the kids are having a celebration complete with a Crush 4 U performance. However, Todd and Juanita had a news report about three wolves, Blackjack, Goliath, and Doofus, destroying the celebration, and the Harvey Girls are up to the challenge to beat those wolves down in order to save the celebration... and get new fireworks because the old ones went off!
    • The episodes "Crush 4 Fireworks", "The Cougar Girls" and "Parade of Disaster" took place on the 4th of July.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The climax of Batman1989 is the anniversary of Gotham's founding, with Joker launching a gas attack on the parade.
  • Independence Day: The aliens invade the Earth shortly before the 4th of July. During his rousing speech, the US president encourages people to fight for their lives. He anticipates that if humans prevail and survive, the 4th of July will be a holiday for the whole Earth.
    "Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July. And you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression or persecution. But from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday... but as the day when the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!"
  • Rocky (released in 1976 and taking place in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed 200 years earlier) referenced the Bicentennial during the film. In particular, Apollo Creed dresses as both George Washington and Uncle Sam during his entrance to the boxing match.
  • The Spirit of '76 takes place mostly during the Bicentennial, as the time-traveling protagonists meant to go to the founding of America but landed two centuries too late.

  • Isaac Asimov
  • Josef Capek's children's book All About Doggie And Pussycat has a chapter "How Doggie and Pussycat celebrated the 28th October", which is about two anthropomorphic animals Doggie and Pussycat celebrating the foundation day of Czechoslovakia. They keep going shopping disguised as children because the shopkeeper promised to give a small Czechoslovak flag to all children for every purchase. They decorate their house with the flags and feel proud that it looks so pretty. Notably, the chapter about celebrating this democratic holiday was forbidden during both totalitarian regimes (Nazi's Protectorate and Communists).
  • Ciaphas Cain: One of Cain's first assignments is to a regiment comprised of what's left of two entirely different regiments after a severe Tyranid mauling: The 301st specializing in planetary assaults, and the 296th a rear-echelon garrison. And for extra fun, the former is all-male and the latter all-female, with their commanding officer being made colonel because literally everyone else in the line for promotion was dead and had three days' seniority over her counterpart in the 301st. Cain barely manages to get them to work together, and there there' a Bar Brawl that results in several dead, because the mess hall was using the 296th' dinnerware as it was their Founding Day. Cain's solution is to refound the regiment as the 597th and distribute non-fatal punishments to those involved, and they eventually become one of the best in the Imperium's history.
  • A subplot in Discworld's Feet of Clay involves the tricentenary of the founding of the First Ankh-Morpork Republic on the 4th of Grune 1688 following the Ankh-Morpork Civil War. However, the only people who care are historical re-enactment geeks, and most of them are closet royalists who think the wrong side won.
  • In Left Behind, Nicolae Carpathia announces the Global Gala taking place 3 1/2 years into the Tribulation period as a time to celebrate the founding of the Global Community. In reality, though, he timed it to take place around the same time that the Two Witnesses would end their period of prophesying to the people about Jesus' coming, which would make them powerless to withstand being shot to death by Nicolae himself, which turns out to be all according to Scripture.
  • Adam Rex's The True Meaning of Smekday: The titular Smekday is an anniversary of when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it "Smekland" (in honor of their glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod.
  • Randy Shilts' book about the AIDS crisis, And the Band Played On, begins with the Bicentennnial celebrations in New York City, when sailors from all over the world came there to celebrate, and addresses the speculation that the AIDS epidemic began with those sailors.
  • Grampy from Grass and Sky hates the Fourth of July because that's when the people who camp (often illegally) by the lake start getting drunk and rowdy and making trouble for everyone else.
  • The Vazula Chronicles: The merpeople's only holiday is Founders' Day, which is near the winter solstice and celebrates the establishment of the triple kingdoms. The charity home where Merletta grew up celebrated the holiday with games and a simple meal. The Center of Culture, where she trains, hosts a much more lavish banquet and various athletic contests.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All in the Family: In the episode "Mike's Move", after hearing a particularly racist rant from Archie on what makes America great, Mike says "I think we just heard Archie Bunker's Bicentennial Minute", a reference to TV spots that aired during the mid-70s.
  • Firefly: The Pilot Episode opens on "Unification Day", a yearly celebration of the Alliance's conquest of the independent outer worlds. Captain Reynolds, having fought against Unification, likes to celebrate it by starting a Bar Brawl.
  • Mama's Family: "Flounder's Day" centers on Mama wanting to sing Raytown's town anthem during its Founder's Day celebration.
  • The Maude episode "Tuckahoe Bicentennial" has the title character organize a tribute to American women for the town's celebration of the Bicentennial.
  • On Terra Nova, the colony has a yearly celebration commemorating the First Pilgrimage and the establishment of Terra Nova. It is called, appropriately enough, Founding Day.
  • Sharp Objects: Wind Gap has Calhoon Day, celebrating a Confederate war hero and his underage wife, which is right on brand for the town's particular kind of ugliness.
  • Starsky & Hutch: After a bribe attempt in "Bust Amboy," which aired in the fall of 1976, Starsky remarks, "You know, I think this is gonna be our first bicentennial bribery offer."
  • The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries: "Oh Say Can You Sing" has Joe singing with a rock group at a Fourth of July concert.
  • Eureka: The season four premiere, “Founder’s Day”, involves a group of characters being sent back in time while the town is celebrating Founder’s Day.
  • The 1989 Cheers episode "The Stork Brings a Crane" involves the celebration of the bar's centennial. When Pete points out that the sign says "Est. 1895", Sam says he made that up because Carla was into numerology at the time and said it was luckier.

  • The X (US Band) song "Fourth of July" takes place on the titular holiday.

    Theme Parks 
  • Disney Theme Parks: From June 1975 through September 1976, both Disneyland and Walt Disney World presented America on Parade, a special pageant honoring American history and achievements in celebration of the Bicentennial.

    Video Games 
  • One chapter of The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero is the anniversary celebration of Crossbell State, which is an all hands on deck emergency for the Crossbell Police, as it's the biggest tourist week of the year.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: The "Happy Fireworks" toon is an episode focusing on the 4th of July (American Independence Day), although much like the site does for Christmas, the holiday isn't mentioned directly.

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur: The episode "Elwood City Turns 100!" is about Mr. Ratburn's class putting on a tribute to their town's centennial.
  • The Gravity Falls Season 1 episode "Irrational Treasure" has Dipper and Mabel attending Gravity Falls' Pioneer Day, which, while not specifically stated as the town's founding day, does put great emphasis on its founding by Nathaniel Northwest (or so it would seem. Turns out the town was actually founded by Quentin Trembly, the 8th and a half President of the United States).
  • Liberty's Kids: The aptly named "The First Fourth of July" revolves around the first celebration of America's independence from Great Britain.
  • Mike, Lu & Og: The episode "Founder's Day" revolves around the islanders putting on a musical play about the founding of Albonquetine.
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Floundering Fathers", attempts to organize a celebration for the anniversary of O-Town's founding lead Heffer, Filbert, and Mr. Bighead to debate over whose ancestors actually founded O-Town.
  • The Simpsons: In the episode "Lisa the Iconoclast", Springfield prepares to celebrate its bicentennial when Lisa makes a shocking discovery about the town's founder. At the celebration, however, Lisa sees how the lie has brought out the best in everyone and decides to keep her discovery a secret. The episode also contains a reference to the United States' Bicentennial.
    Principal Skinner: Now, as you all know, Springfield's 200th birthday is just a week away. Every class will do its part to make our local bicentennial just as memorable as our national bicentennial. Of course, you children are too young to remember that... with the possible exception of Kearney.
    Kearney: (shaving himself) Those tall ships really lifted the nation's spirits after Watergate.
  • Star Wars Rebels: Empire Day celebrates the founding of the Galactic Empire fifteen years previously. Ironically, it's also Ezra's fifteenth birthday.
  • Teen Titans (2003): The episode "Revolution" takes place during the Fourth of July and sees Mad Mod attack Jump City, using his hypno-screens to revert everything to colonial times.
  • Tom and Jerry: The theatrical short "Safety Second" sees Jerry and Nibbles celebrating the Fourth of July. Nibbles wants to set off firecrackers/fireworks, but Jerry would rather not out of concern for Nibbles' safety.


Video Example(s):



"Fireworks" recalls the path that the American colonists took to drafting the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, told from the perspective of a paperboy loudly advertising the creation of Independence Day.

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