(a day late but well worth the read-9:30AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
How did July 4 become such an important date for all the Peoples of the United States of America?
What is the known history behind this day, and what are the not so well knowns, as well?
Lets have a look, shall we?
In the United States, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Congress approved the wording of the Declaration on July 4 and then sent it to the printer. Whether John Hancock, as the elected President of the Second Continental Congress, or anyone else signed the document that day is unknown, because that document has been lost – presumably destroyed in the printing process. Hancock’s name and that of a witness do appear on the typeset broadside that was published within a few days. On August 2 in the following month, an engrossed document in script form was signed by Hancock and other delegates.
Hancock’s name and that of a witness do appear on the typeset broadside that was published within a few days. On August 2 in the following month, an engrossed document in script form was signed by Hancock and other delegates.
Thomas Jefferson crafted the Declaration of Independence, and John Adams persuasively defended the future President Jefferson’s ideals before the Continental Congress in 1776, ultimately leading to the birth of this new Nation.
Jefferson’s Declaration was born on June 7, 1776 when Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee laid before the Congress a resolution calling for the 13 colonies to be “free and independent states, absolved of all allegiance to the British crown.” Moderates argued against the historic resolution, pointing out that the middle colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware were undecided about complete separation of the colonies from crown rule. By day’s end there was little consensus, but members of the delegation appointed a five-man committee to draft a declaration of independence for consideration at the July 1st meeting.
There was a bit of a difference of opinion as to which day would be celebrated as what we call today, Independence Day.
In 1776, John Adams declared, “The second day of July, 1776, 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 forevermore.
History tells us that John Adams made this statement for this reason:
Actually Adams was two days off. Editing of the document continued until it was formally approved by 12 of the 13 colonies on July 4th. (The New York delegation abstained from the vote, but approved the Declaration five days later.) On August 2nd the 53 delegates present signed the document, and the 3 absent members subsequently added their names. Among the 56 signers were both of the men most responsible for the Declaration’s existence, Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Sent to the printer on July 4th, signed on August 2nd, the Declaration of Independance is a beautifully written document that expounds the passions and hopes of OUR Founding Fathers and Mothers and still is the driving force behind many of US here in our attitudes and love for our country.
Happy Independence Day to Dharmites’s everywhere!