Is Today the Real Independence Day?

I recently finished reading the book John Adams by David McCullogh, therein it is mentioned that it was actually July 2nd in which the Declaration of Independence was accepted and signed. In fact July 4th was the day it was “officially” released, but very few representatives actually attended congress that day; it was virtually a day off. This is what John Adams had to say in his journal about July 2nd:

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 for evermore.

By the way, I am not writing this to disparage July 4th, I just think that this was an interesting bit of history. Besides the fact that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same July 4th would not have the same impact if independence day were July 2nd.



Filed under 4th of July, American History, Congress, Conservative, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, History, Independence Day, Iraq, Liberal, Liberalism, Military, Politics, Republicans

4 responses to “Is Today the Real Independence Day?

  1. I read that book too – loved it! I actually cried at the end, when they both died on the same day. I cried at the end of “Truman” too, and at the end of “Team of Rivals” when Lincoln died. Apparently even though my mind knows the men are dead, I still can’t keep myself from being sad about it. 😉

    “John Adams” remains a favorite of mine though. McCollough is a very talented writer.

    And yes, I remember reading that part about July 2nd, and being very surprised. I never had a clue it happened that way until I read that book…


  2. Jenna

    You know they are teaching that in middle school now. That july 2nd is the day everything was final, but july 4th was the day it was released to the public. I never even read the book in which you speak of, I just know this from when I was youn, in school.

  3. I believe it was August the 2nd that is was officially printed and signed by congress, even wikipedia state this ??

  4. chris

    Actually, it was released to the public on July 8th, ratified by congress (even though New York wasn’t on the wagon) on July 4th, and signed by the delegates on the 2nd. Which day should we celebrate??? I say beer and fireworks all three days!!

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