The Fourth Of July – A Little History

dronesofheaven
The Declaration Of Independence
The Declaration Of Independence

I love the 4th of July. My birthday is July 3rd (A day later and my name surely would have been Samuel!) and ever since I can remember I have had just about the most awesome parties in the world. As a child, we spent our summers on lakes in the Adirondacks. And my parents made sure that we got to see the fireworks displays. (There is nothing cooler than being on a boat with fireworks in the air!) And so over the years I have made sure children and grandchildren have had the fireworks experience. But along with all the cool fireworks, food and parades there is a serious side.This year I will spend it with family here in Keene.

Independence Day in the U.S., is an annual holiday commemorating the formal adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration Of Independence on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia. Although the signing of the Declaration was not completed until August, the Fourth of July holiday has been accepted as the official anniversary of U.S. independence and is celebrated in all states and territories of the U.S.

The holiday was first observed in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776, at which time the Declaration of Independence was read aloud, city bells rang, and bands played. It was not declared a legal holiday, however, until 1941. The Fourth is traditionally celebrated publicly with parades and pageants, patriotic speeches, and organized firing of guns and cannons and displays of fireworks; early in the 20th century public concern for a “safe and sane” holiday resulted in restrictions on general use of fireworks. Family picnics and outings are a feature of private Fourth of July celebrations.

Often we need to be reminded of the sacrifices that allow us the ability to do what we do. We have published it because we feel it is important.

Did You Know?

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.

– In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million.

– On July 4, 2008, the nation’s population will be 304 million.

Fourth of July Cookouts

– The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa are more than 1 in 4. The Hawkeye State was home to 17.6 million market hogs and pigs on March 1, 2008. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation’s total. North Carolina (9 million) and Minnesota (6.7 million) were the runners-up.

– The total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2007 is 6.8 billion pounds. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for about one-sixth of the nation’s total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (4.7 billion pounds) or Kansas (4.1 billion pounds).

– There are six states in which the revenue from broiler chickens was $1 billion or greater between December 2006 and November 2007. There is a good chance that one of these states – Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas – is the source of your barbecued chicken.

– About 4 in 10 are the odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 42 percent of the nation’s dry, edible beans in 2007. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia and New York together accounted for 60 percent of the sweet corn produced nationally in 2007.

– Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. More than half (52 percent) of the nation’s spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2007.

– More than three-fourths amount of the nation’s head lettuce production in 2007 that came from California. This lettuce may end up in your salad or on your burger.

– Nearly 3 in 4 chances that the fresh tomatoes in your salad came from Florida or California, which combined accounted for 73 percent of U.S. tomato production last year. The ketchup on your burger or hot dog probably came from California, which accounted for 96 percent of processed tomato production in 2007.

– Georgia is the state that led the nation in watermelon production last year (1 billion pounds). Other leading producers of this popular Fourth of July dessert included California, Florida and Texas, each with more than 400 million pounds.

– More than 74 million Americans said they have taken part in a barbecue during the previous year. It’s probably safe to assume a lot of these events took place on Independence Day.

Fireworks

– The value of fireworks imported from China in 2007 amounts to $207 million, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($217 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $14.9 million in 2007, with Japan purchasing more than any other country ($3.8 million).

– The U.S. manufacturers’ shipments of fireworks in 2002 values up to $17.3 million.

Flags

– In 2007, $4.7 million was the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($4.3 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.

– $2.4 million was the dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2007. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $1.2 million worth.

– The annual dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers was $349.2 million, according to the latest published economic census data.

Patriotic-Sounding Names

– The number of places nationwide with “liberty” in their name is 31. The most populous one as of July 1, 2006, is Liberty, Mo. (29,581). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.

Thirty-one places are named “eagle” – after the majestic bird that serves as our national symbol. (Places include cities, towns, villages and census-designated places.) The most populous such place is Eagle Pass, Texas, with 26,401 residents.

Twelve places have “independence” in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Mo., with 109,400 residents.

Nine places adopted the name “freedom.” Freedom, Calif., with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these.

There is one place named “patriot” – Patriot, Ind., with a population of 192.

And what could be more fitting than spending the Fourth of July in a place called “America”? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, population 25,596.

The British are Coming!

– The dollar value of trade in 2010 between the United States and the United Kingdom was $107.2 billion, making the British, our adversary in 1776, our sixth-leading trading partner today.

Data courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau.

(I remember having to memorize The Declaration Of Independence in Stanley T. Williams School in Northford – 3rd or 4th grade)

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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. ­ Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, 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; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. ­ And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

­ John Hancock

New Hampshire:

Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:

Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:

William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:

Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:

William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:

Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Chronology of Events

1776

June 7

Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, receives Richard Henry Lee’s resolution urging Congress to declare independence.

June 11

Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston appointed to a committee to draft a declaration of independence. American army retreats to Lake Champlain from Canada.

June 12-27

Jefferson, at the request of the committee, drafts a declaration, of which only a fragment exists. Jefferson’s clean, or “fair” copy, the “original Rough draught,” is reviewed by the committee. Both documents are in the manuscript collections of the Library of Congress.

June 28

A fair copy of the committee draft of the Declaration of Independence is read in Congress.

July 1-4

Congress debates and revises the Declaration of Independence.

July 2

Congress declares independence as the British fleet and army arrive at New York.

July 4

Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence in the morning of a bright, sunny, but cool Philadelphia day. John Dunlap prints the Declaration of Independence. These prints are now called “Dunlap Broadsides.” Twenty-four copies are known to exist, two of which are in the Library of Congress. One of these was Washington’s personal copy.

July 5

John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, dispatches the first of Dunlap’s broadsides of the Declaration of Independence to the legislatures of New Jersey and Delaware.

July 6

Pennsylvania Evening Post of July 6 prints the first newspaper rendition of the Declaration of Independence.

July 8

The first public reading of the Declaration is in Philadelphia.

July 9

Washington orders that the Declaration of Independence be read before the American army in New York

July 19

Congress orders the Declaration of Independence engrossed (officially inscribed) and signed by members.

August 2

Delegates begin to sign engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence. A large British reinforcement arrives at New York after being repelled at Charleston, S.C.

1777

January 18

Congress, now sitting in Baltimore, Maryland, orders that signed copies of the Declaration of Independence printed by Mary Katherine Goddard of Baltimore be sent to the states.

 

Written by Lee Johndrow

Lee Johndrow

Lee is on staff as the Prophetic Ministry Leader at the Village Church where he functions as one of the prophetic grace. (You can visit their site at www.villagechurchswanzey.com)

He is the father of five wonderful children. Married for over 22 years to his wife Tina. 7 grandchildren as of September 22, 2014, with another one on the way! Loving life with family, friends, faith, fun and food!


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