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.

The Great Seal of the United States Came About Through Great Effort
June 20, 2010

The Great Seal of the United States of America

Americans Love to Create Committees

On This Date in History:   When an American politician isn’t sure what to do or does not want to make a decision, he tends to set up a committee.  That way, if its a good idea, he can take credit and if it doesn’t work out so well, then he can just say he was following the committee’s recommendation.   This tradition goes back to the beginning as the founders were confounded as to what kind of symbol they wanted for their new nation.   Over a period of 6 years, three separate committees studied the situation in an effort to come up with an acceptable national coat of arms that was needed for the authentification of official documents.    So, who would be the members of such a committee.  Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had done pretty well with a Declaration of Independence so they were given the first shot.

Jefferson's Proposal For the Great Seal Does Not Fit the Paradigm Set That He Wanted No Religion Associated With the Nation

The three creators of the declaration were appointed to the new mission just hours after the formal adoption of the Declaration of Independence.  I suppose the work of a founding father is never done.  They had turned to scholarly writings of the past for inspiration and guidance for the declaration and for a symbol, they looked to the bible and classical mythology from which to take their cues.   Now, Jefferson is often called a “Deist” or non-Christian by some modern historians so it is interesting that he proposed an image of the Israelites passage through the wilderness as they were led by a Divine cloud and pillar of fire.  Adams favored Hercules choosing between a path of virtue or self-indulgence.  For his part, Franklin proposed the likeness of Moses commanding the Red Sea to swallow up pharoah.  They were stuck.

Tough To See: Du Simitière's sketch of his rejected proposal for the Great Seal

So, they called on the help of a consultant.  A Philadelphia artist who hailed from Switzerland, Pierre Eugene Du Simitiere, told them that the greatest virtue of the United States was that it was a new nation forged together by many people of differing backgrounds.  So, he suggested a giant shield that featured the emblems of the 6 most common European nations of most Americans origin.  Around that shield was 13 smaller ones to represent the 13 states, linked by a gold chain.  Holding up the shield were the goddesses of Justice and Liberty.  Above all of that was the Eye of Providence and on the bottom was the motto, E Pluribus Unum, which means “Out of Many, One.”  The committe chose Franklin’s Moses idea for the back and Du Simitiere’s idea for the front.  But, the Continental Congress must not have thought that these guys would come up with something so quickly because they were preoccupied with the Revolutionary War and tabled the issue.   A few years later, in 1780, a second committee was formed and they chose a front side of a shield with 13 stripes that was held up by a soldier and a woman holding an olive branch.  The crest featured a constellation of 13 stars.  On the back was an image of the Goddess of Liberty.  Apparently no one liked that one either because it wasn’t tabled; it was rejected out of hand.

Perhaps Charles Thomson is Ultimately Responsible For the Final Design of the Great Seal. This Engraving of Thomson Was Created by None Other than Pierre Eugene Du Simitiere

In 1782, they tried again.  This time they turned to William Barton who was an authority on heraldry.  He came up with a front side of a European eagle within a crest and for the reverse side, he proposed an incomplete 13-stepped pyramid.   By this time, the Continental Congress had all sorts of designs and so they just shoved them all over to the Secretary of Congress, Charles Thomson.  Thomson took a little bit of this and a little bit of that from each idea to synthesize them into a single entity.  He kept E Pluribus Unum from the first committee, the olive branch and shield from the second committee and the third proposal of an eagle and a pyramid.  But, he decided to substitute a rising American Bald Eagle for the European Heraldic Eagle.  He made the grand bird of America the centerpiece with a constellation of 13 stars above its head to support the motto E Pluribus Unum.  He put the shield with the stripes on its chest with the stripes on the shield arranged vertically and he raised the eagle’s wings.  He placed the olive branch in one of its talons and in the other he had the bird clutching 13 arrows.  I guess he wanted to add his own personal touch.  On the reverse side, the unfinished pyramid found a home, topped by the Eye of Providence with the  latin phrase Novus Ordo Seclorum below and the latin Annuit Coeptis above.  On this date in 1782, the Continental Congress instantly approved the design of the Great Seal of the United States.  Seven years later, the first federal Congress similarly adopted the seal and placed it in the custody of the nation’s first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who may or may not have still been seeting over his Israelites in the wilderness idea being rejected.

Conventional wisdom is that the Eye of Providence and Annuit Coeptis, which means “He has favored our undertaking”, as a symbol of the Founders’ Faith.  The  eye  was put in a radiant triangle which is an ancient symbol of humanity’s accumulation of knowledge.  The constellation of stars bunched together as one illustrates the motto (which is found just below) and the radiance that shines through is emblematic of the new nation taking its place among the others.  The eagle is a symbol of power with the 13 stripes on the shield represents the unification of the 13 original states.  The arrows in the talons shows America’s ability to make war with the olive branch and its 13 leaves and 13 fruits indicating the power to make peace.  I’ve also heard it suggested that the arrows and  olive branch symbolize the idea that the nation makes peace through strength.  The unfinished pyramid symbolizes the unfinished nation as one of strength and endurance.  The base is adorned with 1776 in roman numerals.  Novus Ordo Seclorum means “A new order of the ages” and proclaims the rise of the revolutionary concept of a nation founded on freedom.

The Ideas of the Symbols of America by Emmet Fox Are Detailed in "Alter Your Life"

Now, over time many people have tried to come up with almost conspiratorial ideas about these symbols as they suggest some sort of secrets hidden in Freemasonry.  But, I found an interesting take by an early 20th century theologian named Emmet Fox who took the position that America is part of God’s plan; that in order for people to have the freedom to know the singular God, they have to have political freedom.  Hence, the United States provided that conduit.  Fox says that the motto illustrates man’s initial idea that he is separate from the Divine but the “Light of Truth” dawns on him and he progresses from having many gods to the One God.  He suggests that there is a spiritual significance to the number 13 and also for the number 4.  After all, the Declaration of Independence was officially adoped on July 4th, which was the same day that the order was given to come up with the Great Seal.  The original inauguration day was March 4 and the President serves 4 year terms, which is not duplicated in any other country.  He points out that both Novus Ordo Seclorum and Annuit Coeptis came from Virgil and that “nothing could better describe exactly what America is doing for the world, the fact that she has a Divine mission.”   He says that the olive branch being in the right claw and the arrows in the left is significant.  He has the similar notion that it denotes peace and good-will are to be the primary consideration with defense only as a last resort but he adds that, metaphysically, the olive branch stands for affirmation and the arrows for denial.  It is important, says Fox, to first affirm the presence  of God.  An interesting observation is that most national escutcheons, such as the American shield, are supported by something.  The fact that the American Shield rests on the eagle’s breast shows that it needs not external or material reinforcement.  Fox goes on the detail many other items which may be of interest to some.  But, he does say that the eye is “striking and remarkable.”  He says that the ancient all-seeing eye is the “Single Eye” of which Jesus spoke when He said, “When the eye is single, the whole body is full of light.”  Fox concludes that when an individual or a nation puts God first, and everything else second,” then the whole body, the whole life of that person or that nation, will be healthy and prosperous.”

I'm Not Sure What the Founders Had In Mind For Certain But This Certainly Would have been the Cutest Great Seal of Any Nation

So, what is the truth of the symbols of the Great Seal?  It’s hard to say.  The founders were well steeped in scholarship of antiquity.  The ideals put forth on the Declaration of Independence were not new, but instead it was the way that Jefferson expressed them that makes the document stand out.  The symbols collected for the Great Seal also were not new.  In spite of what modern scholars may suggest, the founders were indeed greatly influenced by some form or Christianity.  As we have seen, Jefferson was in favor of a Judao-Christian related symbol to be the emblem for the nation as was Franklin.  However, the fact that ultimately, the Contiental Congress chose not to include any overt references to the Christian Faith in the Great Seal is of some importance.  Perhaps they wished to cloak their faith such as Fox suggests.  Or, maybe they were being careful to not tie their objectives for the nation to any religion in order to symbolize a desire for a secular government.  Unfortunately, I do not believe that Thomson or anyone else left notes or minutes that describe their line of thinking.  In any event, the Great Seal of the United States does seem to stand out among nations…and maybe that was the intent all along.

SPC Severe Weather Outlook Sun June 20 2010

Weather Bottom Line:  The morning storms on Saturday held us only to 90 for the first part of the weekend.  Snow White and I went for a bike ride and it really wasn’t too bad.  Today will be much hotter and more uncomfortable though.  The models advertise a decent shortwave in Iowa during the day but tend to want to just kill it by the time it gets to Illinois as it makes what seems to me a bee-line for our area.  I’m not so sure why it would just go away as they suggest.  I would think that Sunday evening we should get the left overs at least if not something decent.  I mean, we’ll certainly be hot and there will be ample moisture.  Provided there is not some sort of big cap, I would think that there is no reason for that guy to hold together in some form.  Okay..maybe not severe, but still some storms.  The SPC seems to agree as they have the slight risk area kinda nosing down toward our area.  After this, the next several days seem similar.  Unseasonably hot and humid with no real line for storms to come our way but always the possibility of some guys wandering through.

George Washington Preferred Cincinnatus Over King George
May 22, 2010

General Washington Would Not Be King!

Treaty of Paris-From L to R: John Jay, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Henry Laurens, William T. Franklin...the rest were too Chicken to Show up

On this date in History:  In 1782, there was some chaos in the new nation.  There was a shortage of funds to pay foreign debts and Congress was arguing about what to do.  Beyond that, while the British had surrendered at Yorktown, there was no peace treaty with the mother country and many thousands of Royal troops remained in the colonies.  Skirmishes and small battles continued on part of the frontier.  In general, the major fighting for the colonies was over but true independence would not come until November 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris

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

Now, most of leaders in the colonial independence movement were from the wealthy classes and were, for lack of a better word, the elites.  Many of the founders were well educated in a classical sense and were some of the wealthiest members of society.  John Hancock was a merchant who was recognized by many historians as the richest of all those in America at the time.  General George Washington was not rolling in cash but the value of his land holdings put his net worth near the top of the list.  Thomas Jefferson enjoyed some financial success but his business decisions were not always sound.  But, his knowledge of historical ideas and his ability to master the language gave him a tremendous ability to express ideas and ideals.  John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson were charged with writing an independence declaration.  Adams and Franklin pushed Jefferson to actually pen the document because they acknowledged his greater written skills.  The ideals put forth on the Declaration of Independence were not new ideas as they had been espoused in the past, most notably by John Locke.  But, it was the way that Jefferson expressd those ideals that makes the document so remarkable.  Jefferson wrote  that “Bacon, Locke and Newton … I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical and Moral sciences.”  

George Washington considered himself a planter much along the lines of the Roman tradition of Cincinnatus.  Early in the Roman empire, the Senate ruled Rome.  In a time of war, land holders were called to come and form an army to defend the empire.  In such a time of strife, a dictator was appointed and given temporary powers to rule until the end of the conflict.  Cincinnatus was called to duty in 458 BC and successfully led the defense of Rome.  When the conflict was over,  he resigned his position and returned to his farm.  This was the Roman tradition until around the time of Julius Caesar, who never relinquished the lucrative dictator position.  When several senators got together and murdered him, assassination was introduced into the world of politics.  When Augustus came to power, he remained as dictator but returned much of the rule of Rome to the Senate in the tradition of Cincinnatus while he controled the army on the frontier of the empire.  Augustus preferred to be called “principate” or “first citizen” rather than Caesar.    While Jefferson was greatly influenced by Locke, Washington’s demeanor was patterned after Cincinnatus.   

General Washington Resigning His Commission to Congress. He Voluntarily Surrendered Absolute Power, Not Once, But Twice. The Definition of the man, his character and integrity.

In the atmosphere of an unsettled and uncertain condition that prevailed in the colonies between Yorktown in October 1781 and the Treaty of Paris in 1783,  a proposal arose from officers in the army to settle the situation by proclaiming George Washington as King George I.  He had the ability to seize absolute power since he was the well respected leader of the entire Continental Army.  And many colonists put their Faith in his hands.  Yet,  On This Date in 1782, General George Washington refused to become king when he quickly dispatched such notions, writing from his headquarters in Newburgh, NY  that no such occurrence in the war gave him ”…more painful sensations…” than such talk.  He said that viewed such expressions with “abhorrence and reprehend with severity.”   The officer who had written the proposal to the general was admonished when Washington concluded, “if you have any regard for your country, concern for yourself or  posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind and never communicate, as from yourself, or anyone else, a sentiment of the like nature. ”    The word of General Washington was formidable, thus saving the Democracy before it even really got started. The Constitution was adopted in 1787 and the General became the first President in 1789.  Eight years later, for a second time,  General Washington voluntarily gave up power when he refused to be nominated for a third term even though he had been elected twice as President by a unanimous vote of the electoral college.  Not once, but twice, did General Washington refuse the temptation of absolute power.  In the tradition of Cincinnatus, he returned to his farm where he died in 1799. 

Augustus Known as Principate; Washington as Father

While we do not refer to Washington as “first citizen” like Caesar Augustus, he is commonly referred to as the “Father of the Country.”  A 1788 settlement along the Ohio River became a village in 1802 and took the name of Cincinnati in honor of George Washington, though some accounts say that the moniker was derived from The Society of the Cincinnati .  Nevertheless, the Society of the Cincinnati also was formed by Revolutionary War soldiers who wished to promote the virtues of Cincinnatus.  By extension, those were also the  virtues espoused by General Washington who served as the first President General of the Society of Cincinnatus.  And the nation has largely followed the tradition of Cincinnatus as demonstrated by Washington.   The United States has been involved in a number of armed conflicts but, more often than not, does not control territories following the end of hostilities.  More to the point, politicians followed the tradition of Washington and limited themselves to just two terms in office, until Franklin D. Roosevelt broke the tradition by being elected to four consecutive terms in office.  Shortly thereafter, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution was ratified making the tradition of Washington the law of the land: no one can serve for more than two terms as President of the United States.

From Your Son, Dopey

From Your Son, Dopey

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD

Many of us have our own form of Cincinnatus or George Washington who has influenced their life.  On this date a long long time ago, Robert B. Symon, Sr. was introduced to the world. And the world has been a better place for it. I’m hoping to one day live up to the old man but I haven’t quite gotten there. When I was a kid and he helped coach my football or baseball teams. the other guys on the team always told me that my dad was their favorite coach. They said he was nice. Today, I realize that is true. I think we all wish that we could be a person whom about people would say, “you know, I’m a better person for having known him” or “I’m just a little happier for having known him.”  My dad is one of the few people I know in life that I think that is the case. Come to think of it, Snow White is too. One would think that if I am surrounded and influenced by such people, some of it would rub off on me. Well, there’s always tomorrow.

Weather Bottom Line:  We had a storm that produced some funnel clouds and excitement on Friday evening.   There were also some wind damage reported in a few spots in Southern Indiana and large hail reports in Crawford, Franklin and Anderson counties in Indiana and Kentucky.   Rainfall totals were varied with some places getting around a half inch of rain while others about 3 times that in a short period of time.  It’s all over with now and look for temperatures in the mid to perhaps upper 80’s for the week ahead with rain chances being slim and none.

Coach Slaps Player on Arm, Apologizes; Are We Getting Soft or Responsible?
January 10, 2010

Click on image for video of punch that ended Hayes' career

Coach Martin Can Get Emotional

Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin today apologized for whacking a kid on the arm with the back of his open hand from frustration at a kids poor play. Maybe he felt like he had to because just a month before a coach had to resign for actions that did not include physical contact and other coaches have been dismissed for physicial altercations.    Kansas football coach Mark Mangino had to resign amidst charges of verbal, mental and emotional abuse.  University of South Florida head football coach Jim Leavitt was fired for allegedly grabbing a player by the throat.  And of course, Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach was fired following events surrounding charges that he made a player stand in a dark room.  

Kush Got a Statue After Being Fired For Alleged Player Abuse

These types of things are new, but then again they are to some extent.  Woody Hayes was an extremely successful coach and many of his former players are very grateful for what they learned under the tough coach.  But, Hayes often displayed childish and foolish behaviour during games and in 1978, a national TV audience witnessed Hayes’s punching an opposing player after the opponent made a key interception.  The 65-year-old Hayes was fired and never coached again.  Arizona State head coach Frank Kush was fired after a player filed suit alleging that he punched the player in the mouth following a lousy punt in a game.  But, Kush was acquitted in the lawsuit, the team plays on a field named for him, there is a bronze statue of Kush outside the stadium and in 2000, Kush was hired by the university as a full-time special assistant to the athletic director.  

Knight Wasn't Fired For This

 Then, of course, there is Bob Knight who was fired at Indiana following several accusations of mistreatment of players.  He had been charged with grabbing a player by the throat in practice.  But, he wasn’t fired for that.  Bob Knight  instead was fired for violating a “zero tolerance” policy when a 19-year-old kid walked past him and said “hey, what’s up, Knight?”  Coach then grabbed the kid by the arm and lectured him about manners.  Two years later, Knight was back coaching at Texas Tech, the same place that just fired Mike Leach. 

This Board is Tame Compared To Some I've Met Up Close and Personal

When I played sports in Junior High and High School, the coaches were tough.  I remember in Jr. High basketball we had to shoot free throws at the end of practice and for every one out of the final ten that we shot that we missed, we got a swat.  In fact, it was a normal part of discipline for boys to get swats.  Once, a girl protested that it wasn’t fair that a boy could get three swats and be done but girls had to come to Saturday detention, which was when a misbehaving student had to come to school on Saturday for either an entire day or half day.  So, the school agreed it was discriminatory and the girl got her swats.    I also had an Industrial Arts teacher who said we didn’t get any discipline at home.  He was a former Marine Drill Instructor so he took us out on the field every day for a week and made us march. 

In football practice, if a guy messed up a play, the coach would have everyone on the team jump on the offending player in a dog pile.  For recreation, we played dirty basketball, in which there were no such thing as a foul.  

Was This a Good Idea?

In high school football practice, I once had a head to head hit with another player and my helmet broke in half.  It was off to the locker room for a new helmet and then back on the field.  Coaches regularly grabbed us by the face mask to get our attention.  Once, we were in this drill in which there was a board laid on the ground.  The board was a 2 x 6 from the grandstands and the two players faced each other from either end and did battle with each one having to keep their feet on either side of the board.  I went up against Greg Graves, who was twice as big as me.  He destroyed me.  I had to go against him 10 times in a row with my face getting planted in the ground every time.  Talk about humiliation.  Then of course, there was off-season stick fights in which two opponents beat each other with long sticks that were padded on the ends.  

Things changed fast.  By the time I had graduated college, there was no such thing as swats any more.  My friend was a Junior High coach and he told me of a girl giving a teacher a cake laced with Ex-Lax.  They began with threatening suspension.  The parent protested and the school knuckled under. I don’t know what the ultimate outcome was except that the school finally said that the girl had to apologize and that was that…but the parent objected to that saying, “my daughter is not going to kiss ass to anyone.”  Coach also had a kid who wouldn’t dress out for gym class and wouldn’t move from the floor to the stands.  The kid wouldn’t go to the principal’s office.  Coach threatened to carry him to the principal when the kid said if he did he’d be fired.  Coach picked up the kid with one arm and carried him.  Coach was almost fired for touching the kid.  In some colleges today, a student may file a grievance against an instructor who does something as heinous as assigning homework and then doesn’t grade it.   In the workplace, it can also be difficult just to be nice.   I once worked at a place in which you could be fired for complementing a woman, or man, for their appearance.  You were to look your fellow employees in the eye at all times and not to give opinion regarding appearances in any fashion.  

Abibal Adams Often Gave John an Earful For His Views

John Adams often warned of the feminization of America.  He argued with his wife Abigail in letters once referring to the “despotism of the petticoat.”   But, I’m not so sure that Adams would approve of physical abuse of subordinates.  The question of how to discipline children has been around a long time too.  Mark Sullivan was a journalist in the late 19th and early 20th century.  He wrote a book about the first 25 years of the century called Our Times.   He wanted to give a contemporary history of the first quarter century from a journalist’s perspective. One of the things he speaks about is the movement to remove the switch from the hands of the headmaster in schools and the resulting poor deportment of the students.  75 years later, there were cries from conservatives to return corporal punishment to the classroom.  But, I’m not so sure that we want to give others the right to beat our children.  I was never harmed from the coaches swat board, but serious injury is too big of a risk to take in such instances.  

However, the question does come up as to how far is too far the other way.  A coach back hands a kid on the arm and he feels as if he must apologize.  A coach loses a job for emotional abuse.  How can one define that?  It may be emotionally traumatic just to replace a player from a game.  I once went into a game for a guy in the outfield…in the middle  of the inning!  Talk about embarrassing for the kid!  He never started again…I did.  Under some perspectives, that coach might have been liable for a lawsuit because that was pretty emotionally traumatic.  It seems to me that there definitely should be disciplinary boundaries.  Coaches, teachers and parents need to be more creative and not fall to the most primative methods.  But, there also should be some boundaries the other way.   I don’t know of anyone who agrees with not keeping score in kids games, but they do it all the time.  Life is not equal.  There are winners and losers.  And that can be traumatic but its a fact.    Many people use the “tough love” approach but it seems that approach may be going the way of the dinosaur. 

Louisville area lows Jan 10 2010

NAM Snow Mon Afternoon Through Tue AM

Weather Bottom Line:  We had some sunshine but it didn’t do too much good on Sunday.  Temps only made it to the mid 20’s.  If you look at the low temperature map above from Sunday morning, you can see what I was talking about.  I was right but wrong.   Clearly, the western part of the viewing area had clearing skies overnight.  I had been trumpeting the possibility all week that clearing skies would take the mercury to near zero.   In fact, Jasper in Dubois County did get down to zero with many other areas in the western part of the viewing area in low single digits.  But, when you get to Louisville, the lows were in the mid teens.  That is the difference that clouds can do. 

GFS Claims Snow 18Z Sun...at least for now this model run

Now, the clouds will be increasing again as another shortwave comes rolling down the trof from the northwest.   I’m doubtful regarding the moisture but both the 12Z GFS and NAM call for about a half inch of snow for late Monday afternoon into Monday evening.  Evening drive may be interesting.  Previously, there had been some agreement of temperatures getting above freezing for the first time in 2010 by Tuesday afternoon but now the models say Thursday…which is closer to my two week old forecast of Jan 15.  But, alas, I suspect that many people will be above freezing my Wednesday afternoon.  Now, we do warm up to the low 40’s for the end of the week but there is an interesting feature that has shown up consistently.  It’s a big low forming off of New Orleans.  It migrates northeast.  The track has been changing almost every model run.  And half the time, cold air gets dragged down in response to this feature increasing our prospects for more snow on Sunday.  But, it seems that in alternating runs, it runs the low up the Appalacians but keeps the cold air in Canada.  This seems odd to me.  I would think that we would get some cold air dragging down for Sunday.  It’s not a huge pattern shift but just a short term event.  I’m hoping that if it does happen, that an icing situation does not develop…that’s the one bit of weather that I hate…I don’t need that kind of excitement and neither do you.

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

Who Pays Paris’ Phone Bills? Join Or Die!
May 9, 2009

Who Pays That Phone Bill?

Who Pays That Phone Bill?

Hold The Phone, Paris!  Did you see the movie, Pledge This?  Well, not too many other people did either.  See, it was a vehicle of that noted actress and producer Paris Hilton.   It was only released in 25 theatres nationwide and now the investor who sunk over $8 million into the project want’s his money back.(see NY Post Story Here)  Seems that he thinks that Paris didn’t do enough of promotion.  But, her attornies say that she is the “single busiest person on the planet.”  Actress?  That’s for you to judge.  But, executive producer?

Paris or Marie?

Paris or Marie?

  Let’s let Paris tell us what an executive producer does:  “I’m not sure what a producer does, but-I don’t know. Help get cool people into the cast.”  And finally, in another part of the testimony, a lawyer was asking questions about her phone bills.  Paris was flummoxed.  She said she’s never seen a phone bill before.  When asked who does see her phone bills, she answered, “I don’t know. Like, I’m assuming whoever pays my bills.  I never ask about that stuff.”    Somewhere, the Ghost of Marie Antoinette may or may not be whispering in Paris’ ear, “let them eat cake.”

 

Philadelphia Gazette May 9 1754

Philadelphia Gazette May 9 1754

On This Date In History: From someone a bit more notable and less forgetable than Paris Hilton…You may recognize this snake from the HBO Miniseries “John Adams”.   This was actually the first political cartoon to appear in American newspapers.  It was constructed by Benjamin Franklin and the pieces of the snake represent each of the colonies or sections of the colonies.  There was a superstition that a snake cut into pieces would re-unite after sunset.  It went along with Franklin’s editorial referring to the “disunited state” of the colonies and how they were better off united. 

Here’s the rub….this cartoon first appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette on this date in 1754.  That is well before the colonists were talking separation from the crown.  Nope, this was done in relation to the French and Indian War and the debate on whether the colonists would join in the fight against the French and their Indian allies.  It showed up again in 1765 when the issue of the Stamp Act arose.  Newspapers reprinted the cartoon though there were different interpretations of what it meant.  Many colonists opposed to the Stamp Act associated the image with eternity, vigilance, and prudence.  Those who were loyal to the King saw the cartoon with more biblical traditions, such as those of guile, deceit, and treachery.  Franklin was opposed to the use of the cartoon at that time but it showed up in publications nearly every week for over a year. 

Printed without permission!!  Had the legal establishment been what it is today, Franklin may have sued. But I guess he was a pretty big hitter himself.

Preliminary Storm Reports May 8 2009

Preliminary Storm Reports May 8 2009

Sat Morning

Sat Morning

Weather Bottom Line:  The situation on Friday was interesting.  A derecho or something similar came across the plains toward the Ohio Valley.  It’s orientation was such that it ran across a warm front with the jet stream to the north.  The jet should have kept it going.  I had thought that it would run out of steam when it got to the Appalacian Mountains.  That part was correct.  But, it is very interesting.  When you look at the storm reports, there were 23 tornado reports and 176 wind reports.  They stretched from Missouri to Eastern Kentucky.  I believe every county in Southern Missouri was under either a t’storm or tornado warning at one time during the day.  There was a report of 106 mph winds in Carbondale, IL.  Most of the counties  in South Central and South East Kentucky were under some type of warning.  Yet, when you look at the damage reports above, you see a gap along the Ohio River from Louisville to the southeast.  Very odd.  We had a couple of inches of rain and minor flooding…but the wind damage was east and west.  I suspect this will make a good graduate student thesis in the future.

After a front moves out early Saturday, a secondary cold front comes down  later on Saturday…may trigger some showers or scattered t’storms but nothing overly rambunctious. The deepest moisture should get kicked east before it gets here.   Cooler air will filter in on Sunday as high pressure builds in with highs on Mother’s Day in the 60’s and some sunshine.  Right now, don’t etch it in stone, but late next week there is some inkling of something worthwhile in the t’storm department.  Should be dry at least through the first couple of days of the week.

http://alphainventions.com/

alphainventions

Abigail Adams: One Tough Lady
March 31, 2009

Who Wore the Pants in the Adams Family?

Who Wore the Pants in the Adams Family?

 

 

On This Date in History:  When the Continental Congress got together, it was a congregation of white men.  People of color certainly were not welcome and neither were the women folk.  So, it’s not surprising that the documents that came out of that political body and the later Constitutional Convention left those two groups of people a little short in the equal rights department.  But, women had a bit of an advantage as the old saying “behind every great man is a great woman” was as appropriate then as it is today.

Somehow I think Abby Would Approve of Rosie

Somehow I think Abby Would Approve of Rosie

There was one delegate who had a particularly strong wife.  His name was John Adams and her name was Abigail.  She not only supported him, she also provided some political advice.  On this date in 1776, Abigail Adams wrote her husband, “I long to hear tht you have declared independency-and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors.  Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands.  Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could.  If perticular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

Whoa!  Looks like to me old Abby didn’t really think much of men in general and specifically to men in power.  But, this left John between a rock and a hard place.  He had his colleagues on one hand as well as prevailing law but on the other hand he had his beloved wife.  He may have spent his working time with the men but he did not have to spend the night with them.  So, on April 14, 1776 Adams delicately replied, “As to your extraordinary Code of Laws, I cannot but laugh…Depend upon it, We know better than to repeal our Masculine systems…in Practice you know We are the subjects.  We have only the Name of Masters, and rather than give this up, which would compleantly subject Us to the Despotism of the Peticoat, I hope General Washington, and all our brave Heroes would fight.”

The Ghost of Abby Probably Helped with the last Buttons

The Ghost of Abby Probably Helped with the last Buttons

Abigail was not amused.  She wrote back on May 7, 1776, “…whilst you are proclaiming peace and good will to Men, Emancipating all Nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over Wives.  But you must remember that Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken-and…we have it in our power not only to free ourselves but to subdue our Masters, and…throw both your natural and legal authority at our feet.” 

From this little exchange, it’s easy to see how Abigail Adams and her outspoken, independent and forceful position on issues earned her the nickname “Mrs. President” when her husband John served as the nation’s second President.  She obviously was interested in more than just the women’s right to vote.  And, while that did not come around until August 18, 1920 when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, I suspect that Abigail would be quite pleased at the gains that women have made in society and politics in the 21st Century.  Nevertheless, I suspect she would still find something to say about it and other things on her mind. 

NAM Has Man System South On Thursday Evening

NAM Has Man System South On Thursday Evening

Weather Bottom Line:  The forecast is running pretty much on track.  On Tuesday we move to the mid to upper 60’s in advance of another in a series of storm systems coming across the country.  This guy will be the most benign of the trio to come this week.  I think Tuesday will generally be dry but when we get toward sunset or maybe a bit earlier, rain chances will increase.  A few rumbles of thunder can’t be ruled out but it shouldn’t be overly worthwhile.  Wednesday and most of Thursday will be dry and temperatures will be mild on Wednesday but back up to the upper 60’s and possibly low 70’s on Thursday.  As I write this at 11:30 on Monday night, the SPC hasn’t shown much interest in calling for strong storms around here late Thursday but, I’m telling you that its possible.  If you recall, several days ago I noted that the GFS was showing that to be the case but then it backed off.  Well, the GFS indicates some potential problems on Tuesday night but the NAM does not agree and I tend to think that the overall pattern is

European Has System Through By Monday Morning

European Has System Through By Monday Morning

not overly supportive of the more menacing GFS solution.  But, for Thursday, both the GFS and NAM indicate a very strong veering pattern very similar to what we had over the weekend.  And the timing appears to be similar which is well after sunset so I would suggest a similar potential.  A few strong storms will be possible but they will probably be in a weakening phase.  Now, the third amigo comes on Sunday afternoon and the GFS and that guy is showing signs of being a trouble maker. I made note of it yesterday as it developed over Japan and how the models really kept it going and becoming quite ferocious around here over the weekend.  That potential is there.  The only thing that I see here that may be an inhibiting factor would be not enough time for the full brunt of Gulf moisture to get in here and our temperatures will be warm, but not all that warm as we get to near 70 on Saturday and Sunday we probably won’t get there before the system gets here.  Still lots of time for several things to happen and so the SPC still does not have an outline for it but does make mention.  Just keep aware that if you have activities planned on Sunday, have a plan B in the kitchen drawer.

 

 

http://www.alphainventions.com

A Winner Who’s a Loser; Cold Still Ahead
February 17, 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Houdini Knew What To Do When It Was All Tied Up

Houdini Knew What To Do When It Was All Tied Up

 On This Date In History: How would you like to run for President, come in first place in the electoral college and be told that you would be the Vice-President.  This was the fate of Aaron Burr who went on to greater infamy

Jefferson Arrives Just In Time

Jefferson Arrives Just In Time

At the outset of the nation, there really were no political parties.  General Washington was of the opinion that parties would do more harm than good and was against them.  Because he was so generally popular, there was no issue with parties since his election was unanimous in the electoral college both times.  Things began to unravel after that.  Even though the founding fathers were all still alive, there was this little issue of how the nation should function.  Thomas Jefferson felt that the idea was for there to be a weak federal government and have most of the power rest with the states.  Then, there were those like Alexander Hamilton who felt like it was necessary for there to be a strong executive and weaker state governments.  This fractional ideals, known as Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian eventually became the Democrat-Republican Party and the Federalist Party.  John Adams, who was Washington’s Vice-President, ascended to the presidency as a Federalist.  He took some pretty strong policy measures such as the Alien and Sedition Acts as well as undeclared naval engagements against the French.  He also had a rather nasty disposition.

Electoral Votes 1800 Election

Electoral Votes 1800 Election

So, that sets up the election in 1800.  Each party had two guys on the ballot.  The Democrat-Republicans intended for Thomas Jefferson to be the lead man and Aaron Burr to be his second.  The  electors were all set up to cast their ballots with 73 Republican electors and 65 Federalist.  At that time, all candidates were listed and each elector got two votes.  Whomever was first became President and whomever had the second greatest number of votes became Vice-President.  At the Electoral College,  65 Federalist electors voted for Adams with 64 of the remaining Federalist votes going for Charles Pickney and one for John Jay.  The Democrat-Republicans cast all their votes for Jefferson and Burr.  That gave each of them 73.    Burr declared that he was not in competition with Jefferson but never renounced the presidency. So, he was out but he was in.

Electoral Map 1800

Electoral Map 1800

This kicked the election to the House of Representatives. Balloting began on February 11, 1801.  Now, remember at that time, Inauguration Day was March 4 and many people became fearful that anarchy would break out because the votes kept coming up inconclusive.  There were 16 states so one candidate had to get 9 votes.  First vote had 8 for Tom, 6 for Aaron and two states couldn’t make up their mind.   They voted 18 more times and the votes hadn’t changed.  Those two states remained on the fence.  For 6 more days the voting continued.  Now, Jefferson and Hamilton hated each other.  But, it seems that Hamilton hated Burr even more.  He urged the Federalists to vote for Jefferson because he reasoned that while Jefferson was “a contemptible hypcrite”  his rival did have some “pretensions to character.”    But, Hamilton explained, Burr’s “public principles have no other spring or aim than his own aggrandisement.  His elevation can only promote the purposes of the desperate and profilgate.”

Promotional Woodcarving Did Adams No Good

Promotional Woodcarving Did Adams No Good

Well, most Federalists thought of Jefferson as a dangerous radical and so they ignored Hamilton’s urgings.  But, time was running out.  There was talk of Civil War, that the Federalists might just take the presidency or that the Virginia Militia might march on Washington.  Suddenly, Delaware decided that Burr could never be elected and that the only reason to support him was “to exclude Jefferson at the expense of the Constitution.”  I guess that  means that Delaware really didn’t think much of Burr.  So, finally, on this date in 1801, after 36 ballots, Thomas Jefferson was elected by the Electoral College as the third President of the United States.  By the next election, the Twelth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified that split the votes so that each elector voted once for President and once for a different set of candidates for Vice-President.

Hamilton was quite the ladies man and had a rift with the husband of an acquaintance.  He also continued to feud with Jefferson and Burr, but

You Can Read All About "The 2nd Revolution"

You Can Read All About "The 2nd Revolution"

not for long.  See, Burr and Hamilton had been friends during the Revolution but their opposite political views led to a fierce rivalry that ended on July 11, 1804 when Burr ultimately won when he shot Hamilton to death in a duel.   He was the sitting Vice-President at the time!  Once again, even though Burr had won, just like he won the presidential election of 1800, he lost.  A murder warrant was put out on him in New York and New Jersey.  He fled to

Pennsylvania and eventually finished his term in Washington before departing to the Mississippi Valley where he got involved in an unseemly scheme and Burr stood trial for treason, which put him at odds with…President Thomas Jefferson.  Quite a crew, those founding fathers!  Ever wonder how Hamilton got to be on at $10 bill?

NAM Not too Enthused About Snow Thursday

NAM Not too Enthused About Snow Thursday

Weather Bottom Line:  I’m tellin’ ya…I really think I am going to prepare for temperatures below freezing the entire time from Thursday morning through mid-morning on Monday.  I know most of the stuff on TV isn’t that cold but I suspect that you will seem them come around.  We will warm up on Monday afternoon.  The GFS is more gradual with Tuesday being much more moderate and the European model wants to jerk us to the 50’s my Monday afternoon.   We’ll see.  Now, the NAM is not enthused about snow at all on Thursday with just perhaps some flurry activity with no real measureable amounts.  The GFS, as usual, is a little more bullish with wrap around snow of a half to three quarters of an inch.  Prior to all of that, we have relatively mild conditions with rain chances increasing on Tuesday night and carrying it through Wednesday.  Because of that, any snow we get on Thursday will be inconsequential because even though we’ll be below freezing for much of Thursday, the ground will still be too warm to make a difference.

Now, a second system comes through the flow on Friday and as it approaches from the Northwest, our temperatures

GFS Is Pretty Excited About Snow Thurs and Saturday...Maybe too Excited

GFS Is Pretty Excited About Snow Thurs and Saturday...Maybe too Excited

should rise a bit but, I really doubt we’ll get much beyond freezing for any time of consequence.  Maybe an hour or two at best but the air to the south will be cold so all we’ll do is draw up some slightly modified cold air.  So, big deal…maybe 33 or 34 for an hour or two.  That doesn’t count.  When this guy comes down, the GFS wants to throw out a couple of inches of snow for Saturday morning.  The Canadian model also has a pretty decent amount of accumulation with the European not so bullish.  I would bet we end  up with 1-2 inches tops because its pretty tough to get more than that in such a situation as there isn’t much moisture to work with when these guys come racing through the flow from the Northwest.  But we should get something.  Again, aside from maybe a slightly warmer burp on Friday, prepare for below freezing conditions from Thursday morning through mid morning on Monday.

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.