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Let Us Remember: The Declaration of Independence

Declaration Of Independence, 1817-18 (US Capitol Collection) by John Trumbull canvas art print

The Declaration of Independence is the sacred document of the United States of America whereby the 13 colonies stated on July 4, 1776 that they were no longer a part of the British Empire and instead formed a new union.

The Second Continental Congress actually voted in a closed session in Philadelphia to approve the document on July 2, 1776, but it was announced to the public two days later. Thomas Jefferson wrote the original draft with input from a committee on his own invention of a portable desk. Members of the Second Continental  Congress edited the final version.

Essentially, it is a formal explanation of why the colonies decided to declare independence from Great Britain more than a year after the American Revolutionary War started.

Its most famous line can be recited by most Americans:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal , that they  are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness .

This statement is widely accepted as setting a moral standard for the nation as it pertains to human rights. At the time, it was considered a revolutionary concept for a government.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are the only signers of the Declaration of
Independence to become president. John Adams became the second president in 1797 and Thomas Jefferson became the third president in 1801. Through are markable twist of fate, they each died on the same day — July 4, 1826 – exactly 50 years later within a few hours of each other.

The first observance of Independence Day in 1777 included 13 gunshot salutes, food and celebrations. The colonies were still at war with Great Britain and it would be six more years before the colonies would win the Revolutionary War and fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence.

As the years went on, the 4 th of July became an annual celebration of independence for Americans. In 1938, it became a paid federal holiday.

The Declaration of Independence belongs to all Americans and has been used as a model to be followed by proponents of democracy throughout the world.

It is interesting to read the concept of independence as framed by our Founding Fathers. Here is a copy.Declaration of Independance

About Author

Michael McGreer Mesquite, Nevada
Dr. Michael Manford McGreer is managing editor of Nevada-today.com and writes on issues that impact public policy.

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