This is a very special day in American history. On this day in 1776, some influential patriots from 13 British colonies united to throw off their shackles and declare themselves independent. Most Americans view this date as an opportunity to have a barbecue with friends and family and watch some fireworks. By all means, do so, but think for a second of what these 56 signers, who put their personal reputations and fortunes on the line, did: To most of their detriments, they stood up to the superpower of their time and said “Enough!”. Certainly, they made enemies. Anyone who makes a stand anytime in their lives is sure to. But we, as Americans, should remember that the fireworks we see tonight are symbolic of what the Founding Fathers really saw: Real bombs and rockets heading their way.
Every American, once in their lives, should read the entire Declaration of Independence. Here’s a link to it, along with the names of the Signers:
Yesterday, July 3rd, I posted an image on Facebook of a painting of Pickett’s Charge, the confederate high water mark and the pivotal battle of the American Civil War. It was the 149th anniversary of the moment that the fate of the nation was in the balance. On July 4th, 149 years ago today, Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia was retreating from Pennsylvania back to Virginia, and Abraham Lincoln was joyously reading an account of the battle. Every day in history has its significant events, and the 4th of July is no different. Here are just some:
On July 4th, 1054, Chinese and Arab writers note the presence of a supernova visible in the daytime sky. The remnants today form the Crab Nebula.
On July 4th, 1187, Saladin defeat the Crusader King of Jerusalem, Guy of Lusignan, in the Battle of Hattin.
On July 4th, 1636, the city of Providence, Rhode Island, is founded.
On July 4th, 1777, John Paul Jones hoists first Stars and Stripes flag on Ranger at Portsmouth, NH.
On July 4th, 1789, the first U.S. tariff act is signed into law.
On July 4th, 1801, the first presidential review of the U.S. Marine Corps Band.
On July 4th, 1802, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point opens.
On July 4th, 1817, work on the Erie Canal begins.
On July 4th, 1826, Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson die within hours of each other.
On July 4th, 1829, the cornerstone for the U.S. Mint is laid.
On July 4th, 1831, John Monroe, 5th president, dies.
On July 4th, 1836, the Wisconsin territory is formed.
On July 4th, 1838, the Iowa territory is formed.
On July 4th, 1845, Henry David Thoreau begins his experiment in simple living at Walden Pond.
On July 4th, 1845, the congress of the Republic of Texas votes for annexation to the U.S.
On July 4th, 1855, Walt Whitman’s classic book of poems “Leaves of Grass” is published.
On July 4th, 1863, the city of Boise, Idaho is founded.
On July 4th, 1863, Vicksburg surrenders to Union forces.
On July 4, 1865, Alice in Wonderland is published.
On July 4th, 1876, the first public demonstration of the electric light is given.
On July 4th, 1881, Booker T. Washington opens the Tuskegee Institute.
On July 4th, 1884, the Statue of Liberty is presented to the U.S. by France in Paris.
On July 4th, 1894, Elwood Haynes successfully tests one of the first automobiles.
On July 4th, 1894, the Republic of Hawaii is established.
On July 4, 1918, Bolsheviks kill Tsar Nicholas II and his entire family.
On July 4th, 1933, work begins on the Oakland Bay bridge.
On July 4th, 1934, Joe Louis wins his first professional boxing match.
On July 4th, 1939, a dying Lou Gehrig tells a New York crowd that “I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth”.
On July 4th, 1946, the Phillipines is granted independence by the U.S.
On July 4th, 1950, Radio Free Europe starts broadcasting.
On July 4th, 1960, the 50-star U.S. flag debuts.
On July 4th, 1976, Israeli commandos rescue 100 hostages held by Palestinian terrorists at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport.
On July 4th, 1997, NASA’s pathfinder probe lands on the planet Mars.
On July 4th, 1999, Osama Bin-Laden establishes his base of operations in Afghanistan.
On July 4th, 2005, the Deep Impact Collider hits the comet Tempel 1.