A little history lesson for the 4th of July

The Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted for Independence from England on July 2, 1776. John Adams was one of the 5 men commissioned by the Congress to write the Declaration of Indepedence and included Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. The ever brilliant Thomas Jefferson actually wrote the Declaration.

In fact, John Adams would turn down all requests to speak on July 4 in the years following as a protest because he felt July 2 was the real Independence Day. The first organized Independence Day celebration was in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777.

Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who were among the 5 elected with writing the Declaration died on July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years to the day from the original Declaration of Independence. Adams was 90 and Jefferson was 83.

I am no historian, but David McCullough’s companion books, “John Adams” and “1776”, in my opinion, should be required reading in public schools. Those books teach the reader so much about our country’s birth and founding and the people involved. I believe they would help our children appreciate our country more and its history and maybe bring us a little closer together. The books are historical in nature, but read like a novel. McCullough’s brilliant book “John Adams” won a Pulitzer Prize.

Happy 4th of July to every American. All of those at the Continental Congress in 1776 are long gone now, but their great works and deeds are not forgotten. Thank you.

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Both great books, I recommend them.

The quote from John Adams regarding July 2:

> 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.

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Ron Chernow’s “Alexander Hamilton” is another one for the must list. It shows how much things haven’t changed. A lot of the same political arguments are still going on.

There were even political sides taken over the use of bleedings and leaches.

If more people cared for the truth about history, we would be a whole lot better off… great books.

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