flag and we the people

July 4th Revisited

Amy Byers
Americanism Chair


We all enjoy July 4th.

BBQs, picnics, family and fireworks. The day is seeping with patriotism and I LOVE IT!!!

John Adams had a vision. On July 3, 1776 wrote to Abigail,

“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 Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”


As much as John Adams thought the day of independence was on the 2nd, the date in which the Continental Congress voted in favor of the resolution, the final draft was signed on the 4th. Sealing that deal.


Back in 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain. Those who did were considered ‘radicals’. By the middle of the next year, more colonists favored independence because of ongoing hostility.


Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for independence. Congress postponed and appointed a committee to dive deeper into the subject and draft a formal statement to justify the break from Great Britain. This committee consisted of Thomas Jefferson-Virginia, Roger Sherman-Connecticut, John Adams-Massachusetts, Ben Franklin-Pennsylvania and Robert Livingstone-New York.


Ironically, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died.


In 1870, July 4th was named a federal holiday.


Enjoy the weekend and let freedom ring!!

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