happy independence

My dream would be that every man, woman, and child on this Earth could experience the freedoms we enjoy every day.

Enjoy your independence, my friends. God bless.

Annie

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Fourth of July Facts, Fun and Trivia

I love the 4th of July because of what it represents and also because I never met a barbecue I didn’t like. Nothing like liberty and ribs to get your engines revving, right?

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world…”

Following are some fun, interesting and possibly silly facts about the day of our independence:

The Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776 but a revised version was not adopted until July 4th. In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams, who first proposed the idea of declaring independence from England, said he believed July 2nd would be a day remembered and celebrated in America for years to come.

The Declaration was written by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 men representing 13 colonies. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration on a “laptop,” which was a writing desk that could fit on one’s lap.

The first ever July 4th celebration was in 1777, in Philadelphia which included a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks. The first 4th of July party held at the White House, was in 1801 and held by President Thomas Jefferson. The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.

The 13 stars on the American flag were arranged in a circle to represent equality among the original thirteen colonies. In all, there have been 28 versions of the U.S flag to date. The most recent was designed in 1958 when Alaska and Hawaii joined the union. Robert Heft 17 year-old high school student came up with the flag design as a result of a school project. He received a B- on the project, but when his pattern won the national competition to become the next U.S. flag, his grade was raised to an A.

Fireworks and parades to celebrate the Fourth has been around much longer than you may think – in that letter John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail he also said that the day “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 forever more.” In fact, colonists celebrated their independence before they knew they’d win the war. In addition to celebrating the Declaration it was believed that fireworks displays were used as morale boosters for soldiers in the Revolutionary War.

The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence. Approximately 900 copies of the Declaration were printed by printer John Dunlap. These are referred to as “The Dunlap Broadsides” of which only 26 copies exist today.

The song “Yankee Doodle” was originally sung by British military officers prior to the Revolution as a means to mock the disorganized American colonists who fought alongside them during the French and Indian Wars.

Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, died on July 4th; Adams and Jefferson died within hours of each other in 1826 while Monroe died in 1831.

The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 and not decreed the official national anthem until 1931.

Two of our nation’s national symbols were made overseas. The Liberty Bell was cast in England, and the Statue of Liberty in France. To avoid cracking it, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846 – though every 4th of July it is symbolically tapped 13 times.

While Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be the national bird, he was out-voted by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who chose the bald eagle as the national bird.•

Americans eat approximately 155 million hot dogs on Independence Day while watching approximately 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies in the United States each 4th of July.

4th Of July Humor

What did one flag say to the other flag?

Nothing, it just waved!

What’s the difference between a duck and George Washington?

One has a bill on his face, and the other has his face on a bill.

What would you get if you crossed a patriot with a small curly-haired dog?

Yankee Poodle

What was George Washington’s favorite tree?

The infantry.

For simple 4th of July amusement you can check out this puzzle and this puzzle.
And to test your knowledge of American independence take a quiz here.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July everybody – and say a prayer for our troops and their families.

WC

The Declaration of Independence & Things You May Not Know About it

declaration of independenceTomorrow is the big day – America’s birthday.  We celebrate it with food, friends, family and fireworks.  Hopefully, we take time to reflect on how this document impacted and changed the world.  The ‘American Experiment’ was looked upon with awe and wonder, even resentment by the rest of the world.  Could a representative government succeed?  Could a free people truly fulfill the dream of self-governance?  I guess we’re still finding that out, yes?

Hillsdale College, which offers free online courses on American History and the Constitution has a ‘Read the Declaration Campaign’ which asks Americans to pledge to read the Declaration on July 4th, so that Americans can reacquaint themselves with their history and pass that history on to their family and friends. Check it out.

Things you may not know about the Declaration

1.  Jefferson drafted (as part of the original declaration) a clause on slavery which the Continental Congress rejected: He [the king of Britain] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither.  This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain.  Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms against us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

1a. Here is a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee which discusses the object of the Declaration.

2.Officially, the Continental Congress declared its freedom from Britain on July 2, 1776, when it approved a resolution and delegates from New York were given permission to make it a unanimous vote. John Adams thought July 2 would be marked as a national holiday for generations to come.

3. July 4 is when the Declaration was adopted After voting on independence, the Continental Congress needed to finalize a document explaining the move to the public. It had been proposed in draft form by the Committee of Five (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson) and it took two days for the Congress to agree on the edits.

4. Six people signed the Declaration and also the Constitution. Benjamin Franklin was among a handful of people who signed both historic documents. The others were George Read, Sherman, Robert Morris, George Clymer and James Wilson

5.  The Declaration wasn’t actually signed on July 4th.  Once the Congress approved the Declaration on Independence document on July 4, it was sent to a printer named John Dunlap. About 200 copies of the Dunlap Broadside were printed, with John Hancock’s name printed at the bottom. Today, 26 copies remain.  In 1989 a copy of the Dunlap was found in a flea market purchase tucked behind an old picture frame, for which the buyer paid $4.  That copy of the Dunlap Broadside  was eventually acquired by TV producer Norman Lear for $8.1 million.

6.   During World War II the Declaration and Constitution were were packed up about two weeks after Pearl Harbor, given a military escort and taken to Fort Knox in Kentucky, where they remained for several years.

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

In Congress, July 4, 1776

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;

For imposing taxes on us without our consent;

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;

For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offenses;

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments;

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrection among us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in our attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity; and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

WE, THEREFORE, the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

[Signed by] JOHN HANCOCK [President]

Delaware
George Read
Caesar Rodney
Thomas McKean

Pennsylvania
George Clymer
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Morris
John Morton
Benjamin Rush
George Ross
James Smith
James Wilson
George Taylor

Massachusetts
John Adams
Samuel Adams
John Hancock
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry

New Hampshire
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Matthew Thornton

Rhode Island
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery

New York
Lewis Morris
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
William Floyd

Georgia
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Virginia
Richard Henry Lee
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Jefferson
George Wythe
Thomas Nelson, Jr.

North Carolina
William Hooper
John Penn
Joseph Hewes

South Carolina
Edward Rutledge
Arthur Middleton
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Thomas Heyward, Jr.

New Jersey
Abraham Clark
John Hart
Francis Hopkinson
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon

Connecticut
Samuel Huntington
Roger Sherman
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott

Maryland
Charles Carroll
Samuel Chase
Thomas Stone
William Paca

If you’d like to download a copy of the Declaration, you can do so here.

Happy Independence Day

I wish you all a safe and happy Fourth of July.

Writer Chick

A Day of Independence

There is an interesting story about this painting you might enjoy.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor. (emphasis mine)

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

The above is the reason for this holiday – so while you’re enjoying your hotdogs and parades and fireworks, maybe give it a read.

WC

Independence Day

independence_day

“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” –Patrick Henry

Happy Independence Day everybody. Next to Christmas, this is my favorite holiday because it reminds me of what a unique nation we are and of the incredible people who gave us our independence and at what cost.

A friend of mine did a documentary entitled, America! some years back and the links to all three parts are below. I  encourage you to take the time to watch, it will bring tears to your eyes and make you remember why you and so many others love this country.

America! Part 1

America! Part 2

America! Part 3

And as a final note, please pray for our guys and gals standing in harm’s way around the world, and for their families — especially families of those fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who granted their lives in defense of American liberty.

Enjoy your day.