The True Date of America’s Declaration of Independence: Fact, Fiction, Myth
July 2, 2011

Signatures Came on July 2, 1776

Declaration Not Signed By Most Everyone Until August 2, 1776 and Some Later

On This Date in History: 235 years ago, a group of 56 men faced the gallows for what they contemplated doing or rather what they had already done. You see, the Declaration of Independence was actually voted on by members of the Continental Congress and approved on July 2, 1776.   You see, it was the formal adoption of the document with a good clean copy that took place on July 4, 1776 and it wasn’t signed by most of the delegates for another month.   It was thought that the document would long be celebrated but at least on of the Founding Fathers contemplated that the actual date of approval would be the one noted in history, not the one associated  with formality.  John Adams wrote to his wife that “The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance.” That letter wasn’t published until the 19th century and by that time the Fourth had become the traditional Independence Day. What happened on July 4 was an approval by the delegates of the final version of the document. The final version was not printed on parchment until July 19 and it wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776 by but 50 delegates. The other six got around to it later.

Did the Delegates Need a Final Bit of Persuasion Before Signing What Amounted to Their Death Warrants?

Someone may have been the catalyst to their moving forward and signing a document that would change world history. No one knows who that someone was but, he gave a speech that roused the emotions of the delegates in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Here is the text of what has become known as The Speech of the Unknown. It is said that this “unknown patriot” said in part, “Sign! if the next moment the gibbet’s rope is round your neck! Sign! if the next moment this hall rings with the echo of the falling axe! Sign! By all your hopes in life or death, as husbands–-as fathers–-as men–-sign your names to the Parchment or be accursed forever!” Sounds pretty good. But is it too good? The text of the speech is quite detailed, even accounting for applause. And the description of the “unknown patriot” is quite compelling, detailed and believeable. However, The Jefferson Encyclopedia says there is no evidence exists to support the story of the Speech of the Unknown. They claim the story of the “unknown patriot” was simply part of a work of historical fiction in 1847 by George Lippard: Washington and His Generals; Or, Legends of the Revolution. As evidence, it cites the American National Biography when it claimed that Lippard “wrote many semifanciful ‘legends’ of American history, mythologizing the founding fathers and retelling key moments of the American Revolution so vividly that several of the legends (most famously the one describing the ringing of the Liberty Bell on 4 July 1776) [2] became part of American folklore.”

Manly P. Hall Believed the Story of the Speech of the Unknown

However, Ronald Reagan and 20th century philosopher Manly P. Hall both made references to the unknown speech with both men claiming that the evidence lies in Thomas Jefferson’s records. Yet, the Jefferson Encyclopedia claims no such evidence exists in Jefferson’s writings. I certainly don’t know the truth, but I can say that I once had a published work (Ohio Valley History, 8 (Fall 2008), 40–61.) that uncovered much new material relating to Louisville. No scholars previously had ever come across the material. The reason was that most studies of Louisville used The 1896 Memorial History of Louisville and the editor of that book included only material that they wanted future Louisvillians to know. They skillfully made no mention of the decade long and successful Industrial Exposition but had an entire chapter devoted to the successful 5-year Southern Exposition. They also made no mention of the 63rd Birthday of Ulysses S. Grant even though it was nationally significant enough to find its way on a plaque at Grant’s Tomb. What I am saying is the the folks at the Jefferson Encyclopedia have no evidence that the speech took place, yet they have no evidence that it did not take place either. When one read’s the text of the speech put forth by Lippard, it is possible that Lippard made it up since he was considered a genius and an eloquent speaker. But, the detail makes it hard to believe that he was that creative and it certainly would indicate that Lippard would have a vivid imagination to match his “genius” talent.

Adams, Franklin and Jefferson collaborated on the Declaration of Independence But Jefferson Had the Mightiest Pen

In any event, the delegates really voted in favor of the declaration on this date in 1776. (see Second of July?) Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Jefferson was not the sole contributor to the Declaration of Independence. He was part of a committee consisting of Jefferson, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin (the committee of five) whose task it was to come up with a document for the Continental Congress to approve. They knew that the Declaration of Independence could be a historically significant document and so Adams and Franklin agreed that Jefferson was a much more gifted writer; Jefferson was thus given the job of putting their ideas to paper. The writer of the declaration, Thomas Jefferson was reluctant. John Adams had to convince him giving him three reasons:

“You are a Virginian and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of business”

” I(Adams) am obnoxious, suspected and unpopular. You are very much otherwise.”

“You can write ten times better than I can.”

Jefferson responded, “if you are decided, then I will do as well as I can.”

John Locke's Ideas Were Foundation of Declaration of Independence

The beauty of the document resides in Jefferson’s style and structure more so than the substance because the ideas in the document were not new. The first part was a reformation of the contract theory of John Locke, a 17th Century British philosopher, which generally was that governments are created to protect the rights of life, liberty and property. Jefferson jazzed it up by exchanging “property” with “the pursuit of happiness.” The second part then laid out the crimes of King George in violating the “contract” with the colonies and he had therefore forfeited his claim on their loyalty. Initially, there was a middle section that condemned King George for his introduction of slavery in the colonies, but that section was removed as it was surmised the southern colonies would never sign such a document. Hence, they kicked the can when it came to the slavery issue and the Congress would follow suit into the mid 19th century when it finally came to a head in the form of a bloody Civil War.

Was Adams Foot on Jefferson's Deliberate of a Matter of Expediency?

In 1817, John Trumbull painted the famous portrait of the signers of the Declaration. He hadn’t been there on July 4, 1776 but he did make sketches of many of the individuals and checked out the room so there is still some accuracy. One funny thing he did was to have John Adams stepping on Thomas Jefferson’s foot. Jefferson and Adams became fast friends but were political rivals. Both died on July 4, 1826 exactly 50 years to the day of the official presentation of the Declaration of Independence. They were the only two signers of the declaration to become president. It is said that, on his deathbed, Adams said “Jefferson survives” or “Jefferson lives” not knowing that Tom had died a few hours earlier. I suppose it’s possible that Trumbull’s placement of Adams’ foot on the top of Jefferson’s was a statement of support for Adams who had been at odds over many issues with Jefferson. It just so happens that Trumbull had painted Adams’ portrait.

Trumbull Left a Few Signers Out and Added Imposters

However, I found one source that claims that the feet are merely close together and the claim of Adams stepping on his foot are unfounded. The University of Baltimore suggests that it was merely the artist’s problem with positioning of the founding fathers and points out that later engravings had the feet repositioned. To the right is a montage of all of the signers that you can click on. Trumbull for some reason left 14 of the signers out of the portrait but did manage to put 5 other men in the picture that were not signers. I have yet to find out why he did that…perhaps he was making another statement or he did not know what they looked like.

And the rest they say, is history. King George though had no idea of what was happening. Back in England, he wrote in his diary on July 4, 1776 that “nothing of importance happened today.” Oh…the folly of Kings. Or was it? Some say this too is a bit of American mythology. But, in this case, I say we go along with the idea brought forth by Maxwell Scott to Ransom Stoddard in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. “

Fact, Fiction and Myth Surround the Declaration of Independence
July 4, 2010

Signatures Came on July 2, 1776

Declaration Not Signed By Most Everyone Until August 2, 1776 and Some Later

On This Date in History:  234 years ago, a group of 56 men faced the gallows for what they contemplated doing or rather what they had already done.  You see, the Declaration of Independence was actually voted on by members of the Continental Congress and approved on July 2, 1776.  The formal adoption with a good clean copy took place on this date in 1776.  John Adams wrote to his wife that “The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance.” That letter wasn’t published until the 19th century and by that time the Fourth had become the traditional Independence Day. What happened on July 4 was an approval by the delegates of the final version of the document. The final version was not printed on parchment until July 19 and it wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776 by but 50 delegates. The other six got around to it later.

Did the Delegates Need a Final Bit of Persuasion Before Signing What Amounted to Their Death Warrants?

Someone may have been the catalyst to their moving forward and signing a document that would change world history. No one knows who that someone was but, he gave a speech that roused the emotions of the delegates in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Here is the text of what has become known as The Speech of the Unknown.   It is said that this “unknown patriot” said in part, “Sign! if the next moment the gibbet’s rope is round your neck! Sign! if the next moment this hall rings with the echo of the falling axe! Sign!   By all your hopes in life or death, as husbands–-as fathers–-as men–-sign your names to the Parchment or be accursed forever!”   Sounds pretty good.  But is it too good?   The text of the speech is quite detailed, even accounting for applause.  And the description of the “unknown patriot” is quite compelling, detailed and believeable.  However,  The Jefferson Encyclopedia says there is no evidence exists to support the story of the Speech of the Unknown.  They claim the story of the “unknown patriot” was simply part of a work of historical fiction in 1847 by George Lippard:  Washington and His Generals; Or, Legends of the Revolution.  As evidence, it cites the American National Biography  when it claimed that Lippard “wrote many semifanciful ‘legends’ of American history, mythologizing the founding fathers and retelling key moments of the American Revolution so vividly that several of the legends (most famously the one describing the ringing of the Liberty Bell on 4 July 1776) [2] became part of American folklore.” 

Manly P. Hall Believed the Story of the Speech of the Unknown

However, Ronald Reagan and 20th century philosopher Manly P. Hall both made references to the unknown speech with both men claiming that the evidence lies in Thomas Jefferson’s records.  Yet, the Jefferson Encyclopedia claims no such evidence exists in Jefferson’s writings.  I certainly don’t know the truth, but I can say that I once had a published work (Ohio Valley History, 8 (Fall 2008), 40–61.) that uncovered much new material relating to Louisville.  No scholars previously had ever come across the material.  The reason was that most studies of Louisville used The 1896 Memorial History of Louisville and the editor of that book included only material that they wanted future Louisvillians to know.  They skillfully made no mention of the decade long and successful Industrial Exposition but had an entire chapter devoted to the successful 5-year Southern Exposition.  They also made no mention of the 63rd Birthday of Ulysses S. Grant even though it was nationally significant enough to find its way on a plaque at Grant’s Tomb.  What I am saying is the the folks at the Jefferson Encyclopedia have no evidence that the speech took place, yet  they have no evidence that it did not take place either.  When one read’s the text of the speech put forth by Lippard, it is possible that Lippard made it up since he was considered a genius and an eloquent speaker.  But, the detail makes it hard to believe that he was that creative and it certainly would indicate that Lippard would have a vivid imagination to match his “genius” talent.

Adams, Franklin and Jefferson collaborated on the Declaration of Independence But Jefferson Had the Mightiest Pen

In any event, the delegates really voted in favor of the declaration on July 2, 1776. (see Second of July?)   Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Jefferson was not the sole contributor to the Declaration of Independence.  He was part of a committee consisting of Jefferson, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin (the committee of five) whose task it was to come up with a document for the Continental Congress to approve.   They knew that the Declaration of Independence could be a historically significant document and so Adams and Franklin agreed that Jefferson was a much more gifted writer; Jefferson was thus given the job of putting their ideas to paper.   The writer of the declaration, Thomas Jefferson was reluctant. John Adams had to convince him giving him three reasons:

“You are a Virginian and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of business”

” I(Adams) am obnoxious, suspected and unpopular. You are very much otherwise.”

“You can write ten times better than I can.”

Jefferson responded, “if you are decided, then I will do as well as I can.”

John Locke's Ideas Were Foundation of Declaration of Independence

The beauty of the document resides in Jefferson’s style and structure more so than the substance because the ideas in the document were not new.  The first part was a reformation of the contract theory of John Locke, a 17th Century British philosopher, which generally was that governments are created to protect the rights of life, liberty and property.  Jefferson jazzed it up by exchanging “property” with “the pursuit of happiness.”   The second part then laid out the crimes of King George in violating the “contract” with the colonies and he had therefore forfeited his claim on their loyalty.  Initially, there was a middle section that condemned King George for his introduction of slavery in the colonies, but that section was removed as it was surmised the southern colonies would never sign such a document.  Hence,  they kicked the can when it came to the slavery issue and the Congress would follow suit into the mid 19th century when it finally came to a head in the form of a bloody Civil War.

Was Adams Foot on Jefferson's Deliberate of a Matter of Expediency?

In 1817, John Trumbull painted the famous portrait of the signers of the Declaration. He hadn’t been there on July 4, 1776 but he did make sketches of many of the individuals and checked out the room so there is still some accuracy. One funny thing he did was to have John Adams stepping on Thomas Jefferson’s foot. Jefferson and Adams became fast friends but were political rivals. Both died on this date in 1826 exactly 50 years to the day of the official presentation of the Declaration of Independence. They were the only two signers of the declaration to become president. It is said that, on his deathbed, Adams said “Jefferson survives” or “Jefferson lives” not knowing that Tom had died a few hours earlier. I suppose it’s possible that Trumbull’s placement of Adams’ foot on the top of Jefferson’s was a statement of support for Adams who had been at odds over many issues with Jefferson. It just so happens that Trumbull had painted Adams’ portrait.

Trumbull Left a Few Signers Out and Added Imposters

However, I found one source that claims that the feet are merely close together and the claim of Adams stepping on his foot are unfounded.   The University of Baltimore suggests that it was merely the artist’s problem with positioning of the founding fathers and points out that later engravings had the feet repositioned.   To the right is a  montage of all of the signers that you can click on. Trumbull for some reason left 14 of the signers out of the portrait but did manage to put 5 other men in the picture that were not signers. I have yet to find out why he did that…perhaps he was making another statement or he did not know what they looked like.

And the rest they say, is history. King George though had no idea of what was happening.  Back in England, he wrote in his diary on July 4, 1776 that “nothing of importance happened today.”   Oh…the folly of Kings.  Or was it?  Some say this too is a bit of American mythology.  But, in this case, I say we go along with the idea brought forth by Maxwell Scott to Ransom Stoddard in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance:  “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. ”

Weather Bottom Line:  I’ve heard two different weather people on two different stations say that the humidity will not be “that bad” on Sunday.  It may not be as bad as early last week, but it will be a bit difficult especially in comparison to what we had to conclude the week.  Temperatures will be in the low to mid 90’s through at least the middle of the week and rain chances will be slim and none.

Unknown Speaker Spurs Colonies to Declare Independence-King George Clueless.
July 4, 2009

ON THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY, REMEMBER THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE EVENT. THE COURAGE AND FORESIGHT OF THESE MEN OPENED THE DOORS FOR POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACROSS THE WORLD. THE REVOLUTION THAT THEY BEGAN CONTINUES TO THIS DAY. DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED AND BE THANKFUL THAT YOU WERE BORN OR CAME TO A NATION THAT ALLOWS FOR ALL OF THE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ARGUING THAT WE SOMETIMES LOATHE, BUT IRONICALLY, SHOULD CELEBRATE. WE ARE A MELTING POT THAT CONTINUES TO STIR, BUT IN THE END, WE ARE AMERICANS WITHOUT HYPHENATION. CELEBRATE YOUR AMERICAN HERITAGE.

Unknown Speaker?

Unknown Speaker?

233 years ago, a group of 56 men faced the gallows for what they contemplated doing. Someone may have been the catalyst to their moving forward and signing a document that would change world history. No one knows who that someone was but, he gave a speech that roused the emotions of the delegates in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Here is the text of what has become known as The Speech of the Unknown.

The delegates really voted in favor of the declaration on July 2, 1776. (see Second of July?) John Adams wrote to his wife that “The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance.” That letter wasn’t published until the 19th century and by that time the Fourth had become the traditional Independence Day. What happened on July 4 was an approval by the delegates of the final version of the document. The final version was not printed on parchment until July 19 and it wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776 by but 50 delegates. The other six got around to it later.

In 1817, John Trumbull painted the famous portrait of the signers of the Declaration. He hadn’t been there on July 4, 1776 but he did make sketches of many of the individuals and checked out the room so there is still some accuracy. One funny thing he did was to have John Adams stepping on Thomas Jefferson’s foot. Jefferson and Adams became fast friends but were political rivals. Both died on this date in 1826 exactly 50 years to the day of the official presentation of the Declaration of Independence. They were the only two signers of the declaration to become president. It is said that, on his deathbed, Adams said “Jefferson survives” or “Jefferson lives” not knowing that Tom had died a few hours earlier. I suppose it’s possible that Trumbull’s placement of Adams’ foot on the top of Jefferson’s was a statement of support for Adams who had been at odds over many issues with Jefferson. It just so happens that Trumbull had painted Adams’ portrait. However, I found one source that claims that the feet are merely close together and the claim of Adams stepping on his foot are unfounded. You decide for yourself on the photo on the left. Now, some sources say that Jefferson is standing on Adams’ foot.  The Wall Street Journal published this article in which none other than historian David McCullough says that its Jefferson’s foot on Adams, but says its really an illusion.   But the University of Maryland Baltmore has this on-line study regarding Adams on Jefferson’s foot. This source claims in engravings of the painting that followed, Adams’ foot was moved. So, the debate goes on. Above is a thumbnail of montage of all of the signers that you can click on. Trumbull for some reason left 14 of the signers out of the portrait but did manage to put 5 other men in the picture that were not signers. I have yet to find out why he did that…perhaps he was making another statement or he did not know what they looked like.

Clueless King was bored on July 4 1776

Clueless King was bored on July 4 1776

The writer of the declaration, Thomas Jefferson was a reluctant scribe. John Adams had to convince Jefferson that he was the most qualified to be the penman by giving him three reasons:

“You are a Virginian and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of business”

” I(Adams) am obnoxious, suspected and unpopular. You are very much otherwise.”

“You can write ten times better than I can.”

Jefferson responded, “if you are decided, then I will do as well as I can.”

And the rest they say, is history. King George though had no idea of what was happening. Back in England, he wrote in his diary on July 4, 1776 that not much happened. Oh…the folly of Kings.

satcat

Tornado probability

Tornado probability

Weather Bottom Line: 

Morning clouds and cool conditions make me think that the risk for thunderstorms and the severe weather potential will be curtailed.  Nevertheless, the Storms Prediction Center has the slight risk of severe weather just to our west.   However, both the GFS and NAM feature a short wave or short wave moving through this afternoon or evening.  Like Forrest Gump, that’s all I’m gonna say about that.    I’ve got a  parade to go to but, if I see sunshine this afternoon in the wake of a shortwave that passed to our north this morning and brought the morning clouds, then I’ll be more on the lookout for t’storms this evening than I would otherwise.

DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK 
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   0727 AM CDT SAT JUL 04 2009
  
   VALID 041300Z – 051200Z

Severe Wind Probability

Severe Wind Probability

   
   …THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS THE LWR OH/MID MS VLY
   WWD INTO THE SRN PLNS…
  
   …THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS THE CENTRAL/NRN HIGH
   PLAINS…
  
   …MO/AR OZARKS EWD INTO THE LWR OH VALLEY…
   MDT WNWLY FLOW EXTENDS FROM UPPER RIDGE POSITION PAC NW TO ACROSS
   THE ROCKIES AND CENTRAL PLAINS TO MID ATLANTIC STATES AS TROUGH OVER
   NERN STATES MOVES OUT TO SEA.
   
  

Severe Hail Probability

Severe Hail Probability

 COMPOSITE FRONTAL/CONVECTIVE OUTFLOW BOUNDARY FROM OVERNIGHT
   THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY HAS PUSHED EWD ACROSS MID MS VALLEY EXTENDING
   WSWWD ACROSS SRN MO INTO NRN OK/NERN NM.
  
   THE 40-50KT WSWLY LOW LEVEL JET SRN PLAINS TO LWR MO VALLEY HAS
   MAINTAINED THE MOIST WARM ADVECTION FOR THE EXPANSIVE AREA OF
   ELEVATED CONVECTION ONGOING ALONG AND N OF SURFACE BOUNDARY FROM SRN
   KS/NRN OK EWD ACROSS THE MID MS RIVER VALLEY.
  
   WHILE WEAKENING SOME THE LOW LEVEL JET SHIFTS EWD THIS AFTERNOON
   ACROSS LOWER MO INTO LOWER OH/WRN TN VALLEYS WHICH COUPLED WITH THE
   50KT MID LEVEL FLOW PROVIDES ENVIRONMENT FOR A RENEWED THREAT OF
   SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. ONCE STRONG HEATING OF WARM SECTOR CAN WEAKEN
   CINH AND PROVIDE MLCAPES AOA 2000 J/KG OR GREATER STORMS SHOULD
   QUICKLY DEVELOP VICINITY OF SURFACE BOUNDARIES
  
   THE PRIMARY STORM MODE ONCE INITIATION OF SURFACE CONVECTION OCCURS
   WILL TRANSITION QUICKLY INTO LINEAR GIVEN THE DOMINANT WESTERLY
   COMPONENT AT ALL LEVELS.  WITH INITIAL DEVELOPMENT OF SURFACE BASED
   STORMS…SUPERCELLS ARE POSSIBLE GIVEN THE SHEAR AND AMOUNT OF
   INSTABILITY THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE.  THUS EARLY IN THE SEVERE THREAT
   THERE WILL BE A POTENTIAL OF ISOLATED TORNADOS WITH ANY SUPERCELL.
   HOWEVER EXPECT STORMS TO CONTINUE DEVELOPING UPSCALE WITH GENERATION
   OF COLD POOLS LEADING TO AN INCREASING THREAT OF DAMAGING WINDS
   ACROSS MID MS VALLEY BY LATE THIS AFTERNOON.  THE WIND PROBABILITIES
   WERE ACCORDINGLY RAISED THIS AREA FOR THIS POTENTIAL.
  
   …SRN PLAINS…
   STRONG HEATING IS EXPECTED ALONG/S OF ADVANCING CDFNT AND OUTFLOW
   BOUNDARIES TODAY.  SFC DEW POINTS UPR 60S/LWR 70S COMBINED
   WITH VERY HOT TEMPERATURES WILL PRODUCE MLCAPES 2000 J/KG FROM THE
   TX S PLNS EWD INTO OK.  SUSTAINED LOW LVL CONVERGENCE INVOF THE
   BOUNDARIES WILL YIELD WDLY SCT ROBUST TSTM DEVELOPMENT…INITIALLY
   ALONG OUTFLOW BOUNDARIES IN CNTRL/ERN OK…THEN ALONG THE CDFNT FROM
   WRN OK/TX S PLNS LATER.  THOUGH DEEP LAYER SHEAR WILL BE
   COMPARATIVELY LESS ACROSS THE REGION THAN AT POINTS FARTHER
   E…INVERTED-V SUB-CLOUD THERMODYNAMIC PROFILES AND MID-LVL DRY AIR
   WILL AUGMENT DOWNDRAFTS RESULTING IN DMGG WIND GUSTS.  THE STRONGEST
   OF STORMS MAY ALSO PRODUCE LARGE HAIL…THOUGH TROPOSPHERIC
   TEMPERATURES WILL BE RATHER WARM.  SVR THREATS WILL CONTINUE SWD
   INVOF BOUNDARIES DURING THE EVENING.
  
   …UPSLOPE AREAS OF CENTRAL AND NRN ROCKIES…
   WEAK BOUNDARY LAYER EASTERLYS/UPSLOPE WILL PREVAIL TO LEE OF ROCKIES
   AS SURFACE RIDGE SHIFTS EWD ACROSS THE PLAINS.  THIS MAINTAINS LOW
   LEVEL MOISTURE IN PLACE AND FAVORABLE DEEP LAYER SHEAR FOR REPEAT OF
   DIURNAL THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT THIS AFTERNOON.  VEERING LOW LEVEL
   WIND PROFILES RESULT IN SFC-6KM SHEAR OF 30-40KT ERN WY/ERN
   CO…MORE THAN SUFFICIENT FOR A FEW ROTATING STORMS. PRIMARY THREAT
   WILL BE LARGE HAIL AND LOCAL WET MICROBURSTS WITH GREATEST POTENTIAL
   ASSOCIATED WITH ANY SUPERCELL DEVELOPMENT.
  
   STORMS WILL MOVE ONLY SLOWLY EWD AWAY FROM HIGHER TERRAIN AS AIR
   MASS EWD ACROSS HIGH PLAINS WILL CONTAIN SOMEWHAT LESS INSTABILITY
   AND LESS FAVORABLE LOW LEVEL SHEAR.
  
   ..HALES/GARNER.. 07/04/2009

Celebrate the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776
July 4, 2008

ON THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY, REMEMBER THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE EVENT. THE COURAGE AND FORESIGHT OF THESE MEN OPENED THE DOORS FOR POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACROSS THE WORLD. THE REVOLUTION THAT THEY BEGAN CONTINUES TO THIS DAY. DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED AND BE THANKFUL THAT YOU WERE BORN OR CAME TO A NATION THAT ALLOWS FOR ALL OF THE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ARGUING THAT WE SOMETIMES LOATHE, BUT IRONICALLY, SHOULD CELEBRATE. WE ARE A MELTING POT THAT CONTINUES TO STIR, BUT IN THE END, WE ARE AMERICANS WITHOUT HYPHENATION. CELEBRATE YOUR AMERICAN HERITAGE.

232 years ago, a group of 56 men faced the gallows for what they contemplated doing. Someone may have been the catalyst to their moving forward and signing a document that would change world history. No one knows who that someone was but, he gave a speech that roused the emotions of the delegates in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Here is the text of what has become known as The Speech of the Unknown.

The delegates really voted in favor of the declaration on July 2, 1776. (see Second of July?) John Adams wrote to his wife that “The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance.” That letter wasn’t published until the 19th century and by that time the Fourth had become the traditional Independence Day. What happened on July 4 was an approval by the delegates of the final version of the document. The final version was not printed on parchment until July 19 and it wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776 by but 50 delegates. The other six got around to it later.

In 1817, John Trumbull painted the famous portrait of the signers of the Declaration. He hadn’t been there on July 4, 1776 but he did make sketches of many of the individuals and checked out the room so there is still some accuracy. One funny thing he did was to have John Adams stepping on Thomas Jefferson’s foot. Jefferson and Adams became fast friends but were political rivals. Both died on this date in 1826 exactly 50 years to the day of the official presentation of the Declaration of Independence. They were the only two signers of the declaration to become president. It is said that, on his deathbed, Adams said “Jefferson survives” or “Jefferson lives” not knowing that Tom had died a few hours earlier. I suppose it’s possible that Trumbull’s placement of Adams’ foot on the top of Jefferson’s was a statement of support for Adams who had been at odds over many issues with Jefferson. It just so happens that Trumbull had painted Adams’ portrait. However, I found one source that claims that the feet are merely close together and the claim of Adams stepping on his foot are unfounded. You decide for yourself on the photo on the left. Above is a thumbnail of montage of all of the signers that you can click on. Trumbull for some reason left 14 of the signers out of the portrait but did manage to put 5 other men in the picture that were not signers. I have yet to find out why he did that…perhaps he was making another statement or he did not know what they looked like.

The writer of the declaration, Thomas Jefferson was reluctant. John Adams had to convince him giving him three reasons:

“You are a Virginian and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of business”

” I(Adams) am obnoxious, suspected and unpopular. You are very much otherwise.”

“You can write ten times better than I can.”

Jefferson responded, “if you are decided, then I will do as well as I can.”

And the rest they say, is history. King George though had no idea of what was happening. Back in England, he wrote in his diary on July 4, 1776 that not much happened. Oh…the folly of Kings.