In 1776, John Adams —Constitutional Convention delegate from Massachusetts and future American President— believed that the 2nd of July should and 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 actually voted for independence. It would not be until two days later, on 4 July, 1776, that the body would approve a Declaration of Independence. And, it would not be until 2 August, 1776, that the delegates would actually sign the Declaration.
In 1855, a few years before he would become the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln wrote this:
Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except negroes.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except negroes and foreigners and Catholics.' When it comes to that I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
Two days from now, on the 4th of July, 2016, the United States of America will celebrate the 240th anniversary of its independence. Despite efforts of latter-day nativists, the U.S. flag —the Star-Spangled Banner— "yet waves o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave," if unfurled on too frequent occasion with a mere breeze, rather than a strong wind.
Americans are expected to purchase $1 billion worth of beer over the Independence Day holiday. Economic stimulus; quantitative drinking. Over their 'craft' IPAs and industrial lagers, how many of them will be reflecting upon the implications of the 4th of July: in 1776, in 2016, and for the future?
John Trumbull: The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
- Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, usually posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, as today (except for an allusion in the final paragraph), with a good fermentable as the subject. Camera: Olympus Pen E-PL1.
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