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July 2, Our Independence Day??

I was reading the Wikipedia page talking about Independence Day. It had some interesting information related to how we got July 4th. According to the Wikipedia page, Congress actually declared our independence on July 2, 1776. So, legally, our Independence Day is July 2; however, the statement that laid out our decision was finally approved on July 4. This document was the Declaration of Independence and the date shown on it was July 4. The Declaration of Independence was publicized so much and was so popular that people associated our independence from Britain with July 4, and thus a national holiday was born.

Here is an incredible quote from John Adams. It was written on July 3 to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more. Massachusetts Historical Society

Obviously, Adams was off by two days.

After reading this quote, written by one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence, I realize that I probably do not celebrate Independence Day as much as I should. Over the years, I have just let it slip by as another holiday that I want to get through. I understand that there is so much more to this day than just getting through it, and Adams saw it.

I am also interested in reading the first way Adams says we are to celebrate our Independence Day: by performing “solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” Is that the first thing we think of when making plans for the Forth of July? I am not sure it is for me.

Happy Second of July Fourth of July, our Independence Day!!

Comments (2)

  1. Excellent! Thanks Leo for the reminder that our founding fathers were strong men of faith….your post sent me looking for quotes. Here’s another one from John Adams.

    “Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”

    Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, Vol. III, p. 9.