Saturday, July 1, 2017

Why John Adams saw July 2 as America’s true Independence Day - The Washington Post

Why John Adams saw July 2 as America’s true Independence Day - The Washington Post:

Why John Adams saw July 2 as America’s true Independence Day


(This is a version of a post I have published previously around the Fourth of July)
July 4, of course, is Independence Day, a federal holiday celebrated to commemorate the adoption in 1776 of the Declaration of Independence, which split the 13 American colonies from England.
But John Adams, who had a lot to do with the American colonies’ break from Great Britain, didn’t think the day to commemorate was July 4. Adams, a leader of the American Revolution who became the first vice president and the second president of the United States, thought July 2 was the date that would be celebrated “as the great anniversary festival.”
Why? Because it was on July 2, 1776, that delegates at the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia officially separated the 13 American colonies from Britain by approving a motion for independence advanced by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. Twelve of the 13 colonies approved it (New York abstained, as its representatives did not have permission to vote for it at that time).
The next day, on July 3, Adams wrote a letter to his wife Abigail with this prediction:
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.
Later that day, the Pennsylvania Evening Post published this:
“This day the Continental Congress declared the United Colonies Free and Independent States.”
So why do we celebrate July 4 as Independence Day?
That’s when the actual Declaration of Independence — whose principal author was Thomas Jefferson — was adopted (although not signed) by members of the Continental Congress. Jefferson had been writing it, draft after draft. He was one of the Committee of Five the Why John Adams saw July 2 as America’s true Independence Day - The Washington Post:

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