On this day in 1320, fifty-one Scotsmen signed The Declaration of Arbroath—a letter to Pope John XXII declaring Scottish independence and their intention to use military force, if necessary, to protect Scotland from invasion. Nearly seven hundred years later, 6 April has been declared Tartan Day in Canada and the United States—a day to celebrate the culture and contributions of the worldwide Scottish diaspora. Parades are arranged, bag pipes are played, and Highland dances are performed. And, of course, tartan will be worn.
It is estimated that 6 million Americans can claim Scottish ancestry. Over 15% of Canada can, as well. Some assert that the U.S. Declaration of Independence was modeled on The Declaration of Arbroath, though this remains unproven. A hefty number of Scotsmen populated the ranks of America’s Founding Fathers, however, and Thomas Jefferson’s education was highly-influenced by Scottish thought.
Perhaps a wee pair of tartan cufflinks to jolly-up the celebration? Click on the photo, above, to learn more about them.