HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!! July 2nd and 4th!!
On July 8, 1776, Colonel John Nixon of Philadelphia read a printed Declaration of Independence to the public for the first time on what is now called Independence Square.
However, the Second Continental Congress after a long and torturous debate, formally adopted Richard Henry Lee's resolution Independence unanimously, with New York abstaining 'courteously!' Robert White (lol), on July 2nd.
Yet, it did take the Committee of Five (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson), two days to complete and for Congress to approve the edits. As it's header, they wrote..."IN CONGRESS, JULY 4th 1776, This is why we celebrate the 4th.
The final approved original draft was signed by John Hancock and some others who had remained for the Draft to be completed. It was sent to John Dunlap for copying, and 26 copies remain of the original 200 Dunlap Broadside copies.
The final signatures were completed on Aug 2nd 1776, but their names were not officially released to the public until early 1777.
A day after the Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776. Yes, July 2 — Adams wrote a letter from Philadelphia to his wife back home in Boston commemorating the day.
His letter to Abigail Adam, dated July 3, 1776, read in part:
"But the Day is past. 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."
Despite his wishes, Independence Day was not widely celebrated until Adams and Jefferson resumed their friendship after a nearly 11 year gap. The old friends became bitter enemies during the campaign of 1800. The first rough and tumble, personal attack campaign in American History.
Joseph Story was finally able to bring the once good friends back into each other's good graces via a letter writing friendship that continued to their deaths.
In an 1826 letter, the last Thomas Jefferson ever wrote, he spoke of the importance of Independence Day. “For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them,” he said. The letter was to Adams.
Jefferson and Adams both passed away two days later, on the Fourth of July.
It is not ironic, it was providential that Jefferson and Adams would pass within hours of each other, on July 4, the 50th anniversary. Our founders believed 'faithfully' in divine providence, memorialized by Adams in his letter to Abigail. "Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty."
You will never here me utter, happy 4th of July, because it is a calendar date, we are celebrating so much more than a date, whether it is the 2nd or the 4th...we are celebrating INDEPENDENCE as brought forth by our Lord's divine providence!
So, I wish you a safe, happy and patriotic Independence day! What God has delivered let no man, or mankind,... "those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder"