“But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.”
― John Steinbeck,
Did you know that two of our early presidents wanted the celebration of our independence to be held on July 2nd? That was the day the actual signing of the Declaration took place by 12 out of 13 of the original colonies. After Jefferson, Adams and Franklin made some alterations, late in the morning of July 4, 1776, all agreed to the terms and it became official. Those two presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams wanted July 2nd to be the day of celebration, but it was not to be. How peculiar that both of them died on July 4th, 1826, within hours of each other.
The Declaration was written primarily by Thomas Jefferson with the help of four others, including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. The preamble remained untouched, but some of contents had to be changed after being presented to the Continental Congress on July 2nd. Delegates from all 13 colonies then adopted it.
Even though two of its writers objected to the actual date of celebration, it was determined by the majority to use the fourth of July. Even in those days, congress had a hard time coming together on things. Some things never change.
The fourth of July continued to be celebrated for years following its signing and actually became a Federal holiday in 1870. It was adopted as a national holiday in 1941 – only 77 ago. Still throughout the years it would be celebrated as a special day of freedom for those who live in our great country. Picnics, fireworks and special music were all part of it.
As flags fly and the heavy heat of summer rages down on us, let’s never forget those who stood up for their rights to govern themselves. Through their act of patriotism they gave us the opportunity to join in its glow.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY – LET FREEDOM RING!