Thursday, July 4, 2013
JULY 4 = INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!
“The second day of July will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
This was the prediction or more accurately the expressed hope of John Adams for the future remembrance of America's day of Independence. And yes, you read correctly – he did indeed say “the second day of July”. That is because that is the day on which the Continental Congress actually voted to declare the independence of the 13 colonies from their mother country of Great Britain was indeed July 2. The debate on the specific wording of the document itself then proceeded and it was this that was ultimately signed on today's date, July 4 in 1776. And even that was not quite what happened. But more about that in a moment.
John Adams - the Driving Force Behind the Declaration
Thomas Jefferson - A Man of Many Contradictions
“No man better merited than Mr. Adams to hold a most conspicuous place in the design. He was a pillar of its support on the floor of Congress, its ablest advocate and defender against the multifarious assaults encountered.”
July the FOURTH, 1776?
But the actual document itself was not signed in its final form until some time later, August in fact. The fine and well penned document now so familiar did not get printed and prepared for all of those famous signatures until that time in August, and many of the signatures did not come until later than that, as the delegates arrived in Philadelphia to sign it. Nevertheless it was dated “July 4” because that is the date on which it was officially signed by the President of the Congress, John Hancock, and the Congressional Secretary Charles Thompson. Although in later years both Adams and Jefferson would insist that they had signed on July 4, they did in fact sign on August 2.
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The full text of the Declaration can be found at:
OR... if that one won't come up, try this one...
"John Adams" by David Mc Cullough, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2001.
by Thomas Jefferson, with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston, Philadelphia, 1776