Rooney's favorite holiday: The Fourth of July

The late Andy Rooney's curmudgeonly thoughts on ordinary days, holy days, birthdays, and the joys of his favorite holiday, the Fourth of July

"Andy's Favorite Holiday" aired on the 60 Minutes broadcast on Jan. 11, 2009

ANDY ROONEY: Christmas and New Year, New Year's I guess we call it, are over. And I'm glad. I like them both, but they're hard. I prefer ordinary days, and I like to go to bed about 10:30 most nights. I don't know what time most people go to bed. I guess it's actually closer to 11 when we turn the lights out. Christmas is good, but New Year's Day is too close to it and no one knows what to do New Year's except stay up late.

The next special day we have is Martin Luther King's birthday, January 19th. The third Monday in February is called Presidents' Day. But we've really made a mess of our holidays.

I think most people would just as soon forget their own birthday, anyway, after they're about 25 years old. Getting older is nothing to celebrate. My favorite holiday is the Fourth of July. My father used to give me $2 to buy fireworks on the Fourth every year, and I always had a great time shooting those off. The ones that went up in the air and made a big noise when they exploded were most expensive, so I only bought a few skyrockets. But I spent the rest of my money on dozens of two or three-inch firecrackers. They were the most fun. We also had some round things that crackled when we stepped on them. Alfie Gordon's mother wouldn't let Alfie have fireworks, so he always shot off some of mine. I thought Alfie's mother was probably just saving money. My family was always at our cottage at the lake on the Fourth of July, and after my fireworks were gone, it was fun to sit on our dock at night and watch fireworks go off all around the lake.

I don't know what the statistics are on fireworks, but we had fun with ours and no one ever got hurt. A lot of things in life that are fun are dangerous. It's hard to know where to draw the line. I'm in favor of fireworks, dangerous though they may be.