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  • Monday, July 04, 2016

    In Celebration

    We Forget Thomas Paine
    but, fireworks are grand

    .. History gets revised constantly. A few folks actually did sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, Most signed a few weeks later.
    .. We're told that "Americans" all wanted to be free of the stifling control of the English Monarchy.
    .. In fact, Thomas Paine wrote a convincing pamphlet that was widely distributed to convince the majority of colonial residents that the scattered battles of 1775 were  truly skirmishes for independence.
    ..When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical.
    .. By the middle of the following year, (1776,) however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed by Thomas Paine’s bestselling pamphlet “Common Sense."
    Lee Resolution
    .. The legal separation from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776 when the  second continental congress voted to approve the "Lee Resolution" of independence.
    ..  This resolution was a truly revolutionary bit of legislation. It was introduced by Richard Henry Lee, (lost to the popular mind,) who was instructed to introduce the resolution for a vote by the president of the Virginia Convention Edmond Pendelton, (who?)
    .. This is the revolutionary legislative birth of the eventual declaration. The Lee Resolution was passed on July 2, 1776. It was voted on and passed by 12 colonies. New York abstained from the vote. The tally is shown below the original hand written resolution.
    John Adams
    .. The congress debated about the wording of the declaration for two days.
    .. John Adams was convinced that July 2 would be the day that history would remember. He wrote to his wife:
    "..The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.."
    ..  The holiday was not a federal holiday until 1870 when congress made the fourth of July an unpaid holiday for government workers. In 1938 congress changed Independence Day to a paid Federal Holiday.
    West Yellowstone Celebration
    .. The American citizenry, however has from the beginning celebrated with fireworks, parades, bands, and leisure on the Fourth of July because that is the date on the declared independence document. My my.
    .. The Lee Resolution that declared independence was adopted, (12 to 1,) and it's testament has become known as "The Declaration Of Independence."
    .. It is in fact the statement of independence born out of the Lee Resolution. Nit picking indeed, but revisionist history.
    .. We celebrate both days. It gives much pleasure to our soul and we remember good ol' Tom Paine who provided the rationale that both the citizens and the congress used in adopting the Lee Resolution and subsequent declaration.
    .. Now then, on with the fireworks and revelry and some great food. We are now free to gorge ourselves. Fishing be damned - for today only.