December 13, 2019

Independence Day: The Birth of Our Nation

When the first battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, very few colonists wanted complete independence from England, and those who did were considered radical.

By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come around to the idea of independence.

On June 7th,  Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, and the Virginia delegate, Richard Henry Lee, introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence.

Congress postponed the vote on Mr. Lee’s motion and appointed 5 men to come up with a formal statement outlining the reasons to leave the mother country.

Those 5 men were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston.

Here’s some fun facts – John Adams believed that July 2nd  was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and he would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest.

Additionally, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of the resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (New York held out).

On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2, “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Thomas Jefferson.

Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

The 4th of July became a federal holiday in 1870 and remains an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism.

On this Fourth of July, take a moment to reflect on the freedoms we have because of the sacrifices made all those years ago. In addition to being a service organization, the DAR is also a patriotic organization.

Our members are of direct lineal descent from patriots that played a role in our country’s independence. These local women can help you find your patriot ancestor.

Contact us today at jamesstewartchapterdar@gmail.com and start your journey.

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