A Happy Independence Day to all our patriotic customers out there! The modern festivities we have today may be a familiar sight but before 1776, the fourth of July wasn't our Independence Day of the United States of America; it was just another date on the calendar. For well over a hundred years prior to 1776, the tyrannical King George and the British government kept the colonists under their rule and unjust law despite their move to 'The New World'.
Unfounded taxes and a multitude of other conflicts grew between the colonists and King George (who was literally losing his mind). In response to the unyielding reach of the British Crown, the colonies held a Continental Congress to resolve the matter once and for all. It was one Virginia statesman named Richard Lee who is now known for his famous words at the meeting of June 7 in 1776,
“Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
Rather different from our current way of speaking, Mr. Lee was simply saying that the colonies were able to govern themselves and would no longer needed Great Britain filling any governmental role.
These famous words were the catalyst to form the committee that drafted a document to state the colonies’ case for freedom from British reign. The committee was composed of five members: Ben Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, and Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson was the one to physically write up the document.
They named it The Declaration of Independence.
After days and days of careful examination and minor revisions, the document was finally completed on July 4. The colonies voted in favor of this independence declaration and our founding fathers signed the document at the bottom—John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, signed the largest so “King George can read that without spectacles!” he noted.
And now we celebrate our Independence Day to observe the day that the colonies adopted our Declaration of Independence in 1776.
So, from everyone here at Everything Summer camp, enjoy your Fourth of July and revel in our Independence Day!