Time has been given for the whole People, maturely to consider the great Question of Independence and to ripen their judgments, dissipate their Fears, and allure their Hopes, by discussing it in News Papers and Pamphletts, by debating it, in Assemblies, Conventions, Committees of Safety and Inspection, in Town and County Meetings, as well as in private Conversations, so that the whole People in every Colony of the 13, have now adopted it, as their own Act. — This will cement the Union, and avoid those Heats and perhaps Convulsions which might have been occasioned, by such a Declaration Six Months ago.
But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.
–John Adams, July 3, 1776
We have been observing Independence Day as a federal holiday since 1870 (it was an unpaid holiday back then).
I was surprised–somewhat–to learn that there is a dispute as to whether the 4th of July should be the U.S. Independence Day. This is not a dispute started among modern day egghead scholars. John Adams felt that July 2nd should be Independence Day because that’s the day the 2nd Continental Congress voted for independence from British rule. We celebrate July 4th as the day the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted, but most historians believe that the Declaration of Independence was actually signed on August 2, 1776. This actually makes sense as it would take some time to write the Declaration.
However it happened, I’m thankful that it did.
Today we celebrate our freedom and our independence. So forget about all the day-to-day government nonsense and the ridiculous politics. This is when we remember what it’s all for in the first place–the sacrifice and the potential. And the hope of living up to it.
And go red, white, and blue. 😀