1976 was the American bicentennial*. While I was not yet born at the time, I hear it was a bit of a big deal. Many new businesses, schools, roads, housing developments, and the like were given names that referred to this fact. This is not a unique phenomenon - there's a Centennial School District near where I was born which was founded in the 1800s. I believe the name refers to the 100th anniversary of the county. One of the upshots of this is that if you see something in America with one of the following words in its name, there's a good chance that it was built or founded sometime in the mid-'70s.

    Colonial - refers to the fact that the 13 original American states were originally British colonies. Given the fact that the American Revolutionary War was undertaken with the aim of changing this relationship, this seems a bit odd to commemorate - could you imagine a flurry of "Apartheid" businesses and roads popping up in the South Africa of 2094?

    Independence - reflective of the fact that the American Revolution was a war of independence from Britain, and also to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. There was a strip mall in my town called "Independence Court", which always seemed a little silly.

    Patriots - As seeya points out here, under contemporary use of the term, "patriot" might be more appropriately applied to the Loyalists and Tories who opposed separation from Britain, but regardless, this has come to describe those who supported it, and especially those who fought for it. The other high school in my school district, which opened in 1975, chose "Patriots" as the name for their sports teams.

    Bicentennial - the simplest one of all, this refers to the fact that 1976 was the 200th anniversary of the events of 1776. This one ages a little less gracefully than the others. While today it's still feasible to reference America's colonial heritage or fight for independence, it seems a little odd to publicly celebrate an otherwise nondescript year a few decades ago (which was, in turn, a celebration of a year a few centuries ago).

Oddly enough, you don't see many names incorporating the word revolution or revolutionary. This may be due to the fact that at the time, the words were more closely associated with communist or socialist movements abroad, or maybe due to the fact that it's just a pretty strong word for the mundane sorts of things that tended to be named in this way. Other words that were occasionally incorporated into names included names of notable figures in the Revolutionary War, references to the fighting itself, like minuteman or cannon, and miscellaneous terms like Yankee. If you can think of any I've forgotten, /msg me and I'll add them.




*(that is, if you consider the signing of the Declaration of Independence to mark the origin of the US, rather than say, victory over the British, or the adoption of the Articles of Confederation or Constitution.)

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