Certain dates in our country’s history are practically inborn. Most Americans know these by heart by second grade, (which for me was age 7. Through age 10.)

Those dates include — but are not limited to — the following:

Oct. 12, 1492: This is when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, back in the good ol’ Pre-Oil-Spill days, when the worst thing that could happen was a Sail Spill. The aquatic-minded Italian “discovered” America — only a few centuries after the Vikings and people already living here had “discovered” it. The Santa Maria actually grounded on a boat launch. A guy’s got to have some pretty big plumes in his felt hat to land on subdivided property and still claim discovery.

Nov. 19, 1493: Larry King born.

March 16, 1735: First drive-thru opens, in Lower Plymouth Rock.

“Yeah, give me a Mildly Optimistic Meal and uh…I guess I’ll just have a No. 4. And the Cod-on-a-Stick.”

“OK…uh, you want maize with that?”

“I guess so, since fries won’t be invented for another hundred years. But put me a couple of extra packets of saffron in there, will you? And a turkey leg?”

January 1841: French fries introduced in America. Fast food business booms. (The exact date in January of 1841 is uncertain here, but of course you already knew that and have — since second grade!)

January, 1842: In its first year as a company, Nutri-System does $40 million in business.

Sept. 17, 1920: NFL formed in Canton, Ohio.

Oct. 1, 1920: First NFL player arrested.

Oct. 28, 1929: The stock market, exhausted from overwork and with a bad sinus condition, leaves its Wall Street office just before midnight and attempts to drive itself from New York to its vacation home in Connecticut.

Oct. 29, 1929: Stock market crashes.

Jan. 8, 1935: Elvis born.

Fourth Thursday of November, 1941: FDR and Congress agree on Thanksgiving as a national Holiday.

Fourth Thursday of November, 1942: The Detroit Lions lose to the Cowboys, 42-6.

May 1, 1963: ICEE machine invented by Omar Knedlik in Coffeyville, Kansas. Convenience store chain 7-Two buys the machines and makes so much money it becomes 7-Eleven before the summer’s over.

Aug. 16, 1977: Elvis crashes.

June 11, 2002: “American Idol” debuts.

June 12, 2002: The first of many “I Don’t Get Ryan Seacrest” clubs is formed.

I’ve left out a few – the invention of baseball and apple pie, the country’s introduction to hotdogs, the first release of The Jackson 5 – but you know those anyway. Besides, it’s time to celebrate the most internationally famous American holiday of them all: the Fourth of July.

Chunking me into the spirit of things, I received an electronic greeting card this very week from Mrs. Fireworks 2010, depicting the “after-party” of the First Continental Congress, July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia.

The card is a cartoon video of Jefferson in a lawn chair discussing Betsy Ross’ sewing woes with Washington, who wears a “Hail to the Chef” apron over his blue regimental jacket as he tends to the grill. Ben Franklin shows up – “How my dawgs doin’? Guess who just made a country…we did!”

“Totally,” Washington says.

I don’t know what went on that day, but I guess they did SOMEthing, what with the Phillies being out of town and all. Maybe John Jay brought buns. Patrick Henry the chips. (“I regret that I brought but one bag to eat at this party.”) It’s a good bet Samuel Adams had ice chest duty. That left John Adams to bring the toothpicks, paper plates, condiments, and extra wigs. (But no fries. Again, blame the French.)

The celebration was likely bigger a couple of years later; we ended up winning. I hope we can say that next Fourth of July.