In 1776, John Adams —Constitutional Convention delegate from Massachusetts and future President— believed that it would be the 2nd of July, not the 4th, that would be celebrated as American Independence Day. *
The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, 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 Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
Why 2 July?
Because it was on 2 July 1776 that the Second Continental Congress voted for independence. It would not be until two days later, on 4 July 1776, that Congress would approve an actual Declaration of Independence. And, it would not be until 2 August 1776 that the Declaration would actually be signed by delegates.
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.
- * Story of John Adams and Independence Day from: The Independent, 2 July 2015.
- Full text of the Declaration of Independence: here.
- Pictured is the Blue and Gray Building, in Falls Church, Virginia. It is the oldest surviving building in this small municipality, ten miles west of Washington, D.C., erected by a Willson Clover in 1797.
- Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, usually posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as a subject.
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