Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th

232 years ago a band of rebels declared that the 13 colonies of the British Empire no longer wished to be subjected to the whim of the realm with a statement known as the Declarlation of Independence. While the vote was actually completed on July 2nd, 1776, the formal adoption took place 2 days later on July 4th. John Adams, writing to his wife, Abigail, on July 3rd predicted that the 2nd of July would become a great American holiday. He was only off by 2 days.

While largely written by Thomas Jefferson, a committee of 5 consisting of John Adams, Benjaman Franklin, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman and TJ, was appointed on June 11, 1776 by the Continental Congress to draft a declaration. After much debate and numerous changes the final version was approved and sent to the printer on 7/4/1776. That is why we celebrate the 4th and not the 2nd.

In all, 56 representatives from the 13 colonies signed the document, most of the signatures were not affixed until August 2nd, almost a month later.