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July 4, 2017 /

GratiTuesday: Happy 241st Birthday!


“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…. 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.”

            ~John Adams, in a letter to his wife, dated July 3rd, 1776


John Adams was right about the “pomp and parade,” but not about the date. The legal separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776. The Declaration of Independence (the statement that explained this decision) was debated, revised, then approved two days later on July 4th (can anyone imagine anything like that happening so quickly these days?). From the beginning, our nation has commemorated the date shown on the Declaration of Independence, not the date the original resolution of independence was approved.

I am grateful to be able to join in the “great anniversary festival” of my country’s birthday. I’m also grateful that it is today, not the “2nd of July” we celebrate… it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.



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  1. Dan Antion / Jul 4 2017 4:03 am

    What’s a day or two among friends? Happy 4th of July!

    • / Jul 4 2017 6:02 am

      You have a great 4th of July as well. I hope Maddie isn’t too disturbed by fireworks. The dog we had while I was growing up used to spend the 4th of July deep in my parents’ upstairs closet.

      • Dan Antion / Jul 4 2017 6:23 am

        She’ll be wearing her ThunderShirt and staying close to us.

  2. Joanne Sisco / Jul 4 2017 4:53 am

    In the spirit of the occasion, I say it should be celebrated for 3 days from the 2nd to the 4th 🙂

    Happy Independence Day. May of the rest of John Adams prediction “from this time forward forever more” be true!

    • / Jul 4 2017 6:06 am

      I think that’s an excellent idea! Despite the craziness we are currently experiencing in our nation’s capital, there is much to celebrate.

  3. Maggie Wilson / Jul 4 2017 5:31 am

    Happy Fourth!

  4. Kathy Merlino / Jul 4 2017 5:59 am

    Beautifully written! Happy 4th of July!

  5. Kate Crimmins / Jul 4 2017 7:39 am

    So cool!

  6. Shelley / Jul 4 2017 9:38 am

    We are truly being tested. Those of us in NJ had a governor who closed the beaches to the masses while he regally sat on the closed beach, alone with family and friends. Fortunately, “the Media” snapped a photo of him basking in the sun and those masses rose up to let Chris Christy know what we all thought of his second closure (the first being lanes to the GW Bridge). It wasn’t quite a Boston tea party, but we do what we can.
    Beaches reopened in time for our independence celebration.

    • / Jul 4 2017 10:10 am

      I knew about Beachgate, but not that they had reopened. Thank goodness for everyone. I guess it’s hard to claim Fake News! when there are pictures 🙂 Happy 4th!

  7. The Coastal Crone / Jul 4 2017 1:18 pm

    July 4th has a better ring to it! And not things do not get done a quickly today. May you have a safe and thankful 4th!

    • / Jul 4 2017 2:05 pm

      Can you imagine our current government writing, discussing, editing, then approving ANYTHING in just a few days, let alone a major document? Have a great 4th too!

  8. Anabel Marsh / Jul 4 2017 1:34 pm

    I never knew that! Happy Independence Day (I look forward to ours).

    • / Jul 4 2017 2:06 pm

      That letter was new to me too. I thought it was pretty interesting. When is your independence day?

      • Anabel Marsh / Jul 4 2017 11:31 pm

        We don’t have one, I’m looking forward to the day that we do! I voted for Scottish independence in 2014 and would do so again given the chance.

  9. Liesbet / Jul 4 2017 1:37 pm

    Happy 4th of July! If we would have been saying Happy 2nd of July for decades/centuries, that might have had the better ring to it now… 🙂

    • / Jul 4 2017 2:08 pm

      You are probably right, but I think a number with one syllable, like “fourth” just flows better that a number with two or more syllables (at least, that’s my story 🙂 ).

      • Liesbet / Jul 4 2017 7:00 pm

        You do have a point there, Janis! Hope you had a nice one. We enjoyed this extra day off thoroughly with a long dog walk and sitting in the sunny yard. 🙂

  10. Terri Webster Schrandt / Jul 4 2017 3:31 pm

    I’m sure there is a good fireworks show in SD if you’re planning to see one. Too hot here to endure the crowds. I love that quote and enjoyed this post, Janis!!

    • / Jul 4 2017 4:58 pm

      Fortunately, we can see fireworks from our house… no need to endure the crowds… or drive :). Have a great 4th, Terri!

  11. Donna / Jul 4 2017 4:51 pm

    I agree that the 4th of July has the best ring to it! And…all of those dual-passport Canadian/US citizens need a couple of days to recover and shift celebration gears!

  12. crosscountrylifeblog / Jul 4 2017 7:21 pm

    Doing the math i thought it was 240 in my head! Great post, thanks!

  13. Debra / Jul 4 2017 7:54 pm

    I recently read that Adams refused to celebrate the 4th, instead being a stickler for the 2nd. It makes me chuckle picturing the squabble, and at the same time THAT would be more in keeping with today! LOL! It is a joy to be able to celebrate this special day. We take pot-shots across the political bow, but we all do, I believe, treasure what this day represents. Lovely post!

    • / Jul 6 2017 9:49 pm

      I hadn’t read about the squabble, but I’m not surprised. People were taking pot shots at each other even then. I hope you had a great celebration on the fourth (or the second 😀)!

  14. Ann Coleman / Jul 5 2017 11:47 am

    I agree, the 4th has a much better ring to it! And I never knew it could have been the 2nd…thanks for the information. One of the fun things about blogging is all the new stuff I learn!

    • / Jul 6 2017 9:52 pm

      I thought that was so interesting. So much was new then and they were all working out the details. It must have been an amazing time to be alive and active in politics.

  15. karen207 / Jul 6 2017 5:24 pm

    Sorry to be delayed in wishing you a great 4th of July, Janis. Like the others, I didn’t know anything about the 2nd of July. I love those little-known facts.

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