This is a quick post to wish you all a happy Independence Day. Since we are geeks, here is some July 4th history to share around the picnic table. You'll look super smart!
In 1776, the Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2nd. So why the 4th? Just two days after the vote, they adopted the Declaration of Independence. I like to think we not only celebrate our successful shot at freedom, but also laud the incredible writing skills of one Jefferson, who wrote most of that great document in under two days. And, without a word processor! No backspace key!
All the writers in the room go "oooooooh."
The whole "4th" business was not appreciated by John Adams, who apparently felt the 2nd was the proper day to celebrate. According to the always-correct History.com, he refused to attend many July 4th events in protest.
Also according to History, Adams died on July 4th. That must have upset him greatly. Darn you, Fate! Jefferson died the same day. Some statistician should crunch the numbers: what's the probability that two gentlemen present for the vote for independence and the signing of the Declaration would die on the same day (July 4th, 1826), on the 50th anniversary of that signing?
To celebrate the 4th as it was enjoyed in the early years, you should get double rations of alcohol, shoot cannons, and hold mock funerals for British royalty.
Despite the fact that we've commemorated Independence Day since the beginning, it did not become a federal holiday until 1942. It was a state holiday long before that, however, with Massachusetts being the first state to name it so in 1781.
Interestingly enough, the political division in our country now seen between Republicans and Democrats started very early and became apparent during July 4th celebrations. The Federalists (strong national government) and the Democratic Republicans (less strong national government, stronger states) celebrated the holiday separately as far back as the 1790s. The love didn't last long, did it?
Visit History for all these facts, and more, to be the smartest person at the picnic. Additionally, you can recite the entire Declaration before the fireworks and make everyone wish you'd be quiet. But, most of all, have a fun and safe Independence Day. Be respectful of neighbors and veterans. Oh, and look out for the puppies.
Love and hugs and bunnies,