Home 2020 July 4th Independence Day, How it Came to Be

July 4th Independence Day, How it Came to Be


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When I went to grade school we earned that July 4th is Independence Day, the day in Y 1776 when the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

However, there is an argument the actual Independence Day is July 2nd, they day when the Continental Congress actually voted on the idea of independence and then sent a committee of members, including Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin to draft the formal document that changed history

According to the National Constitution Center the Continental Congress declared its freedom from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, when it voted to approve a resolution submitted by delegate Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, declaring “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.

The Big Q: How then did July 4th come to be?

The Big A: Once the Congress approved the actual Declaration of Independence document on July 4, it ordered that it be sent to a printer named John Dunlap. About 200 copies of the “Dunlap Broadside” version of the document were printed, with John Hancock’s name printed at the bottom.

Today, just 26 copies remain.

That is why the Declaration has the words, “IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776,” at its Top, because that is the day the approved version was signed in Philadelphia.

The Declaration was not read to the public until July 8.

There is another wrinkle to the Independence Day story

The late historian Pauline Maier said in her 1997 book, American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence, that no member of Congress recalled in early July 1777 that it had been almost a year since they declared their freedom from the British.

They remembered the event on July 3, 1777, and July 4 became the day that seemed to make sense for celebrating independence.

Regardless of the day when the acts were made official, we should remember and cherish the Revolutionary generation, and the priceless gift they gave us.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote on June 24, 1826, just days before he passed away:“For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.

The Fate of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of  Independence ?

5 signers were captured by the British as traitors, and killed.

12 had their homes ransacked and burned.

2 lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, and 2 had sons captured.

9 fought and died from wounds and/or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes,and their sacred honor.

The Big Q2: What kind of men were they?

The Big A2: 24 were lawyers and jurists, 11 were merchants, 9 were farmers and large plantation owners, they were men of means, well educated, and they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing well that the penalty would be death if they were captured by the British.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of signers Dillery, Hall, Clymer,Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of  Yorktown , Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his HQs. He urged General George Washington to open fire. His home was destroyed, and signer Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, she died in jail.

John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his mill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead, his children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying this 4th of July Holiday weekend and thank these American patriots. They paid the price for our Freedom, as it is never free.

The 4th of July is a Celebration of Freedom, let’s be sure we all vote to keep it!

So, take a few minutes while enjoying this 4th of July Holiday weekend and thank these American patriots. They paid the price for our Freedom, as it is never free.

When I was a youngster, my  parents taught me the special meaning of July 4th for where I grew up, it was a very special day – with parades, that special barbeque and fireworks with a feeling of happiness and security plus the joy of good neighbors. They used to say, never let freedom go for our forefathers paid a heavy price for our freedom – a word with just seven letters but with a meaning of considerable depth, not just for one person but for ALL to remember and enjoy. 

“Perhaps, today we might look back to our forefathers and say two simply words – thank you for I do not know if today each American would had paid such a price as an individual for the ability to be free and live in such a democratic society (whether white, black or of mixed race) where opportunity adorns but which some today would like unfortunately to destroy. Perhaps one should look back on the price that our forefathers had to pay where some even lost everything they had and even died in poverty
” said Bruce WD Barren, Chairman of The EMCO/ Hanover Group.

Have a Star Spangled Holiday Weekend, Keep the Faith!

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Paul A. Ebeling, a polymath, excels, in diverse fields of knowledge Including Pattern Recognition Analysis in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange, and he is the author of "The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a highly regarded, weekly financial market commentary. He is a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to over a million cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognize Ebeling as an expert.