July 4th – the 242nd anniversary of our declaring independence from Great Britain! The fighting had already begun, but this document officially declared our independence and enumerated the reasons why the colonies were justified in seeking independence from an overbearing monarch.
Today is the United States 241st birthday and it’s so much more than cookouts, frisbee, swimming and boating! John Quincy Adams, our nation’s sixth President, said on July 4th, 1837, “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior?” Just image that!
Above the names of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence are these words “”For the support of this Declaration, with firm Reliance on the Protection of the divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
Communication 238 years ago was not what it is today — no cell phone, internet, Twitter, Facebook or email. The following information is based on tradition and cannot readily be verified, but I can’t help but think these stories are based on fact. By signing the Declaration of Independence , they instantly became traitors to the British Crown — their government.
A brief history lesson: On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. Two days afterwards – July 4th – the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed, albeit by only two individuals at that time: John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress. Four days later, on July 8, members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell was rung. The inscription around the top of that bell, Leviticus 25:10, was most appropriate for the occasion: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”