Look for the continuation of First Impressions on Wednesday and Friday. Today, I have just a quick post in honor of the holiday – a few interesting facts about the day and the reason for it, our Declaration of Independence:
- The Declaration references the “united States of America,” but the word united is not capitalized. It was used as an adjective, not as a proposed name of our new country.
- Thomas Jefferson originally included a statement criticizing slavery in the Declaration, but was talked into deleting it, for fear the southern states would vote against the resolution otherwise.
- In a letter to his wife, John Adams proclaimed that the adoption of the Declaration of Independence should be celebrated 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.” However, he was talking about July 2nd, the day the Continental Congress actually voted to adopt it, not July 4th.
- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were lifelong political adversaries. John Adams was often quoted as vowing “I will outlive Jefferson” even though Jefferson was the younger man. When Adams died on the Fourth of July, 1826, his (supposed) last words were, “Thomas Jefferson survives.” However, he was wrong. Jefferson had died earlier that same day.
Hoping that all of you enjoy much Pomp and Parade, Shews, Games, and Illuminations today – but please, stay away from the Guns! Happy Fourth!