Happy American Independence Day!
I was kind of shocked by the recent poll that found that a majority of Americans don’t know what the 4th of July is all about — who the U.S. gained independence from, how many colonies (that became States) were involved, when it all went down and so forth. Only kind of shocked because when my brother was in college he conducted a poll of the graduating seniors at his exclusive private university and nearly 70% of them thought that Germany was a U.S. ally in WWII and that Russia was the enemy.
So, here’s a quick recap: July 4th commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 by the Second Continental Congress declaring the 13 Colonies independent of the British Empire and British rule and a new country.
A bit of trivia: The Declaration of Independence (version 1) was signed on July 2nd and approved in a secret closed-door session but, because some members of the congress insisted on some changes in wording, it was not officially adopted until the 4th –and not all of its signers had signed on to the final version until nearly a month later, in August. However, the public considered the 4th to be the day as that is when the newspapers of the day were given the info and carried the story.
More fun trivia: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers to become U.S. Presidents, both died on the same day: July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. James Monroe, not a signer but considered to be a Founding Father of the Declaration and a U.S. President ALSO died on July 4th, in 1831.
For those who are curious, the 13 colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia, Province of New York, Province of North Carolina, Providence Plantations, and the Colony of Rhode Island.
Happy Independence Day America!!! We are celebrating by having (veggie) hamburgers and potato salad for dinner and watching another episode of Turn: Washington’s Spies (about the spies that were critical in the battle for independence).