What we celebrate

July 4th, 2019 by Ken

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature, and of nature’s god, entitle them

So begins the preamble to the Declaration of Independence – a day which we celebrate every Fourth of July.

The document goes on to say that – We hold these truths to be self-evident – that all men are created equal – and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights – that among these are – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

This document. which started a revolution, and brought about the creation of the United States of America, is often thought to have been written by Thomas Jefferson, when in actuality it was written by five men, chosen to lay out the reasons that the American colonies should separate from England. Jefferson was just one of five.

Others on that committee included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston.

Jefferson did write the first draft but it was heavily edited by the committee. The original statement written by Jefferson called for Life, liberty and property – – but was changed to Life, liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness because at that time, only property owners could vote and the committee wanted to make the declaration to apply to everyone, not just property owners.

It was approved by the Continental Congress on July 2 and sent to the printers to run off copies. It was made known to the public on July 4. The actual signing of the Declaration of Independence was on August 2.

That declaration was ignored in England. The English government later declared that anyone signing it were traitors and would be punished by death. Five of the signers were captured and hung as traitors. Nine fought and died in the revolution. Most of the rest suffered financial problems brought about by the war.

But, the drafting of the Declaration of Independence with its stirring words “All men are created equal” – drew the envy and wonderment of people everywhere.

It was a revolutionary concept which people have fought and died to protect – as the idea spread across the world.

That is what we honor this Fourth of July holiday.

Posted in The Real News

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