Saturday, July 4, 2009

happy 4th. . .

Because it's 4th of July, I thought I'd think out loud about the Declaration of Independence. . .

Like how the document was written, principally, by Thomas Jefferson but that he was backed and badgered by a committee that included John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. And how, each time that committee would make changes to the original draft, Jefferson would get a bit cranky about it.

And how the Second Continental Congress actually voted to approve the "resolution for independence" on July 2nd but due to the nature of any Congress, the wording of the declaration was debated, again revised and couldn't be rolled out for another two days.

Or how most folks think the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Congress on July 4th when the reality is that most of the delegates didn't sign it until August 2nd and the British government didn't even find out about it until August 30th.

And how the handwritten and signed copy of the declaration (the one we all recognize) is not Jefferson's handwriting but that of Timothy Matlack.

Or how Jefferson and Adams (at first friends, then political enemies, then friends again) were the only two signers to be elected president and that on the 50th anniversary of the declaration (July 4th, 1826), both Jefferson and Adams died within hours of each other.

"Holiday Hammock", digital illustration, © 2009 Arthur A. Winstanley

. . . But I'm not gonna do that. I think, instead, I'll just lay back in the hammock and relax with a Mexican cerveza and a pound of Canadian bacon and try to figure out why any American would even consider taking such an amazing history and trade it in for a North American Union.



No comments: