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. “

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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 King Should’ve Asked The People First
March 24, 2010

If George Had Only Asked First....

French and Indian War Became Part of A Very Expensive Anglo-French Conflict

On This Date in History:  Following the French and Indian War, Britain was left with a huge war debt.  That particular conflict began in 1754 but got folded into  a larger scale European  war between the French and English that became known as the Seven Years War that concluded in 1763.  Londoners were getting tired paying higher taxes to pay for the war and so the Crown had to look for other sources of income.  King George III had risen to the head of the monarchy at age 22  at the death of his grandfather.  Now, the previous two kings had been rather weak and Parliament had seized the lead in establishing policy in the English government.  With the encouragement of his mother, George removed from power the coalition of Whigs who had been running the government.  He used patronage to establish a new coalition that would allow him to have control over Parliament.  While the old Whig coalition had been quite stable, George’s new coalition created ministries that proved not to last too long with each lasting in office but a couple of years.

Colonists Weren't Too Kind to Agents of the Crown

With the new regime and the end of the war, a new policy was set forth:  the American colonies would start to pay for their defense.  But, the colonists had been pretty much left alone almost from the outset of settlement and so any direction from across the pond was not well received.  This was especially the case since the Crown didn’t ask the assemblies of each colony but instead made decrees.  If you think about it, it really wasn’t too unreasonable for there to be some expectation for the colonies to pay for part of the costs associated with running a colonial system.  And I suspect that the colonists would have agreed.  But,  the British government passsed new laws without the advise or consent of the colonial assemblies and that ran counter to their perceived rights as Englishmen.  No matter what Parliament passed, the colonists were against it.  The Sugar Act of 1764, the Currency Act of 1764 and the odious Stamp Act of 1765 all were resisted by the colonies.  Ben Franklin was  a colonial agent in London and had long argued that the resistance was to internal taxes; taxes and duties from London on products and services that originated in the colonies.  Franklin had differentiated between these internal and external taxes or duties slapped on good imported into the colonies.

Redcoats Were Not Welcome in New York

  Charles Townsend had ascended to parliamentary power following the incapacitation of William Pitt.  He listened to Franklin and so he issued the Townshend Program that included the Townshend Duties which were taxes put on lead, paint, paper and tea imported into the colonies.  Well, in spite of what Franklin had argued, the colonies didn’t like that either because to the merchants and people taxes proclaimed by any body except for the a colony’s assembly ran counter to the rights of Englishmen.  But, perhaps a more destructive portion of the Townshend Program had nothing to do with taxation but instead actual power.  Townshend had proclaimed that the New York Assembly, the legislative body voted into office by the citizens of New York, was disbanded until it accepted the terms of the Mutiny Act of 1765.   Most people are famliar with the Mutiny Act by a more common term: The Quartering Act of 1765

Working With Colonial Assemblies Instead of Ruling By Decree Might Have Saved the Colonies For George III

During the French and Indian War, British generals had a difficult time getting provisions and quartering  from the colonies for regular Army members.  When requested, most colonies eventually voted to provide for what was requested but the process was difficult.  As part of the effort, Lt. General Thomas Gage had convinced the New York Assembly to provide quartering of British regulars.  That legislative action expired January 1, 1764.  So, instead of getting the colonies to each pass quartering legislation, Parliament just issued the blanket Mutiny Act that included the Quartering Act of 1765 which required colonial governments to not only to provide a place for troops to lay their heads, but also food and supplies.  And, neither the soldiers or the British government would pay for it.  The colonists thought that since the war with the French was over there was no need for permanent British troops since they had never been stationed in America prior to the F&I War and Parliament had no right to compel such servitude without local legislative approval.  The British said that the troops were necessary to defend the borders against Indian attacks and, as subjects, they were bound by Parliamentary Acts.    The Quartering Act was passed on this date in 1765 and when 1500 British troops arrived in New York in 1766, the New York Assembly refused to make appropriations for them in any manner and they were forced to bunk on board the ships.   See, the colonies felt like they had rights of self governance while King George looked at them as subjects to the rule of Parliament.

Tis Easy to Attact a Bear With Honey...Something George Should Have tried

The central government was probably reasonable in many of their requests.  The colonists had in fact been providing for the British troops when the need was brought to their attention by General officers who negotiated with the assemblies.  A large part of the Quartering Act was the fact that the Parliament and the king did not ask but instead imposed thier will on the people.  Was it a good thing? Probably.  Was it just? Probably.  Did the people understand it? No.  Had they simply gone to the assemblies like General Gage had, then there might not have been much of an issue.  It could be argued that same line of thinking might have held with all of the taxation efforts.   But, King George III wanted to show who held the power and so instead of convincing the people that it was in their best interest and necessary to accept these provisions, he instead wished to impose his authority.  The result was a revolution from a bunch of otherwise loyal British subjects who tried to remain Englishmen but eventually felt that they had no voice.  And therefore, they had no choice but to seek their independence.

SPC Thunderstorm Risk For Thursday

Thursday Evening 8 PM

Weather Bottom Line:  The forecast is running along as expected. Wednesday we pushed toward 70 in spite of increasing cloud cover.  There is a southern system running along Dixie that will help trigger rain in our area and perhaps some t’storms on Thursday with temperatures in the 60’s.  But, as I mentioned on Tuesday, the biggest threat for any real thunderstorm activity or even severe weather for that matter will be well to our south.  The SPC got on board and put out an outline suggesting the same thing that I did on Tuesday with the edge of the t-storm activity just on our doorstep but the biggest threat for some action will be South.  There is a cold front running down from the Northwest late Thursday evening that will pick up the system but we could see some shower activity the first part of Friday with improvements as the day progresses.  Saturday looks pretty nice with highs in the low 60’s.    Then Sunday another southern system passes us to the South and again brings rain but not real threatening conditions.  I suspect that we’ll be fine for churchgoers but rain chances increase by the afternoon.

Three Outlaws Showed America’s Early Independent Streak
January 29, 2010

Three Outlaws Who Were No One's Stooge

This Chuck Lost His Head
This Chuck Lost His Head

On This Date in History:

In 1649, there was a bit of a revolution going on in England.  Oliver Cromwell had led a revolt against the monarchy and, on this date in 1649, 59 people signed the death warrant for King Charles I who was later executed. Now, the little turnabout didn’t last long and by 1660, the House of Stuart returned to the throne in the form of King Charles II. The second Chuck called for an amnesty for all who had played a role in his father losing his head except for three men. Edward Whalley was the cousin of Oliver Cromwell and he led an army during the uprising. He and two of his officers, John Dixwell and William Goffe, signed the document with the other 56 signers. Sensing that there was a new sherrif in town, the trio decided it was best to get out of Dodge. Dixwell went to Prussia while Goffe and Whalley set sail for Boston in the New World. Goffe and Whalley did nothing to disguise themselves and made no apologies for their actions when they landed in America.

This Chuck Lost The Fugitives

This Chuck Lost The Fugitives

Chuck the younger was pretty non-plussed at the prospects of the men hiding out in the colonies and mocking his authority so he posted a pretty hefty reward for their capture. By the time an arrest warrant had made its way through the formalities, Goffe and Whalley had lit out. Off to New Haven they went where they were welcomed with open arms as they had been in Boston. But, hot on their trails was a pair of gumshoes who were loyal to the king. Even at this early time in America’s history, there was some resistance to the crown as the deputy governor of the colony was slow and was uncooperative in keeping the matter a secret. I suppose the outlaws got tipped off because they used the time bought by the authorities fumbling to escape again, this time to a cave where a farmer quietly left food for them every day.

Hadley As Quiet Today As in 18th Century

Seems Whalley and Goffe had lots of helpers who were sympathetic to their cause and they continued to get assistance wherever they went. At one point, they wanted to surrender but their advocates would not hear of it. After 4 years of futility, Charles II had enough and he sent troops to Boston to try and grab the boys on the lam. But they had moved again to Hadley, Massachusetts. While they lived in freedom in Hadley, their comrad Dixwell had left Prussia and moved to Connecticut where he disguised himself as a retired merchant. He died there in 1688. Meanwhile. Goffe and Whalley continued to live openly but did use subterfuge to communicate with their families back in the home country. Whalley never was caught and, like Dixwell, died peacefully and free in 1674.

Goffe Rallies the Town

Goffe Rallies the Town

Goffe was another matter. The story is that while the citizenry of Hadley, including some of the king’s men, were attending church when Indians attacked. From out of nowhere, a old bearded man showed up. He organized and led the town’s defense. When the danger had passed, the senior citizen disappeared as mysteriously as he had appeared. Some good loyalists spotted Goffe in Hartford and promptly reported it to authorities who refused to arrest him. Goffe died in 1679.

Seems old Chuck never did get satisfaction for his father’s death and I suppose the “bad guys” ended up getting the last laugh. This perhaps illustrates that America’s independent streak had begun almost as soon as the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. One hundred years after the death of the last elusive signer of the death warrant of King Charles I, the American colonies were in full revolt and revolution against the King George III…who was about as successful with America as Chuck the Second.

00Z Fri Snowfall through Saturday-Tune Change-Nothing for Louisville!

Fri 00Z GFS Snow through Saturday-Not too much

Weather Bottom Line:  I’ve been warning of the potential of getting nothing out of this. I said it was possible, not necessarily probable and I’ve been sticking with the 4 inch forecast I came up with about 4 days ago.  Well, what seemed not probable somehow has gone to the possible and maybe even close to probable.  I noticed today that our dewpoint was 8 degrees.  That is extremely dry.  I also noticed our wind was out of the northeast with a storm approaching from the west. Ordinarily, one might think of winds with a southerly component.  Well, what we have is a big fat ridge to our northwest that is driving in dry air.  That is what is keeping the freezing line or critical temperature lines to our south.  But, it also means that as moisture gets shoved up over the top of the cold airmass, then it will take a long time to saturate the column. In other words, anything that falls will evaporate.  The system is so far to the south and the moisture expected to be tossed up so minimal that the 00Z Friday NAM has zero snow.  At 9 pm on Friday, at about 6000 feet, the model claims that the dewpoint will still be about 35 below zero.  That is bone dry.  It is suggesting that there simply isn’t enough moisture to saturate the column.  The 00Z GFS is very similar though it does toss out something less than a quarter inch…probably closer to a tenth of an inch.   I still don’t see how we get above freezing on Sunday either.

NWS Louisville Late Thursday Snow Forecast-Don't be Surprised to see this change during the day on Friday

So, is this a slam dunk?  No, but its getting pretty close. Time is running out and there is sufficient real observable evidence to support this lame scenario.  We do have low level northeasterly winds and we do have low surface dewpoints.  Those are facts.  It seems to me that the only thing that can overcome those obstacles will be if the low tracks farther north.  So, I’d say we’re left with the possible, not probable scenario for the low tracking farther north and therefore, any decent snow chances in Louisville being possible not probable.  Now, we must keep in mind that this is a pretty dramatic shift from model runs of just 12 hours prior but it has been part of a trend of decreasing snow amounts.  What makes me believe this is real is that we have physical evidence right now that is actually going on and not just on some computer that supports the lesser snow solution.   From where I sit early Friday morning…we may not get much of anything in the Metro area.  Farther south? Sure.  Louisville though is not looking too promising.  I bet we don’t get nothing, but I’m afraid my 4 inch stake in the sand needs to be yanked out and put away for another time.  It’s still a tough call but evidence is mounting.  We’ll see.  

(EDIT FRIDAY MIDDAY)  The NWS has 1-3 inches areawide for Friday night through early afternoon on Saturday for area. Specificlaly for Louisville they are calling for less than an inch on Friday night and then a 30% chance of snow on Saturday.  Hmmm…seems like to me that they get to have it both ways…pretty smart because they can claim victory more easily that way.  Anyway, the 12Z GFS still has nothing.  The 12Z NAM went back to its old ways and claims something like 2.5 inches.  Two things this does is illustrate how difficult this forecast is and how tight the snow gradient will be.  With the dry air in place and the northeasterly flow, I still think we won’t get nothing in Louisville but probably wont’ get a huge amount of snow either…lets say .75 inches to 1.5 inches.  I do hope I’m wrong though and somehow the column gets saturated and we get a whole bunch…but it just seems to be a pretty tough situation for that to unfold.

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

3 Fugitives Foreshadow Indepedence? Another Winter Storm?
January 29, 2009

Three Fugitives An Earlier Indicator Of American Independence?
Three Fugitives An Earlier Indicator Of American Independence?
This Chuck Lost His Head
This Chuck Lost His Head

On This Date in History: 

In 1649, there was a bit of a revolution going on in England.  Oliver Cromwell had led a revolt against the monarchy and, on this date in 1649, 59 people signed the death warrant for King Charles I who was later executed.  Now, the little turnabout didn’t last long and by 1660, the House of Stuart returned to the throne in the form of King Charles II.  The second Chuck called for an amnesty for all who had played a role in his father losing his head except for three men.  Edward Whalley was the cousin of Oliver Cromwell and he led an army during the uprising.  He and two of his officers, John Dixwell and William Goffe, signed the document with the other 56 signers.  Sensing that there was a new sherrif in town, the trio decided it was best to get out of Dodge.  Dixwell went to Prussia while Goffe and Whalley set sail for Boston in the New World.  Goffe and Whalley did nothing to disguise themselves and made no apologies for their actions when they landed in America. 

Chuck the younger was pretty non-plussed at the prospects of the men hiding

This Chuck Lost The Fugitives

This Chuck Lost The Fugitives

out in the colonies and mocking his authority so he posted a pretty hefty reward for their capture. By the time an arrest warrant had made its way through the formalities, Goffe and Whalley had lit out.  Off to New Haven they went where they were welcomed with open arms as they had been in Boston.  But, hot on their trails was a pair of gumshoes who were loyal to the king.  Even at this early time in America’s history, there was some resistance to the crown as the deputy governor of the colony was slow and was uncooperative in keeping the matter a secret.  I suppose the outlaws got tipped off because they used the time bought by the authorities fumbling to escape again, this time to  a cave where a farmer quietly left food for them every day. 

Seems Whalley and Goffe had lots of helpers who were sympathetic to their cause and they continued to get assistance wherever they went.  At one point, they wanted to surrender but their advocates would not hear of it.  After 4 years of futility, Charles II had enough and he sent troops to Boston to try and grab the boys on the lam.  But they had moved again to Hadley, Massachusetts.  While they lived in freedom in Hadley, their comrad Dixwell had left Prussia and moved to Connecticut where he disguised himself as a retired merchant.  He died there in 1688.  Meanwhile. Goffe and Whalley continued to live openly but did use subterfuge to communicate with their families back in the home country.  Whalley never was caught and, like Dixwell, died peacefully and free in 1674.

Goffe Rallies the Town

Goffe Rallies the Town

Goffe was another matter.  The story is that while the citizenry of Hadley, including some of the king’s men, were attending church when Indians attacked.  From out of nowhere, a old bearded man showed up.  He organized and led the town’s defense. When the danger had passed, the senior citizen disappeared as mysteriously as he had appeared.  Some good loyalists spotted Goffe in Hartford and promptly reported it to authorities who refused to arrest him.  Goffe died in 1679.

Seems old Chuck never did get satisfaction for his father’s death and I suppose the “bad guys” ended up getting the last laugh.  This perhaps illustrates that America’s independent streak had begun almost as soon as the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock.  One hundred years after the death of the last elusive signer of the death warrant of King Charles I, the American colonies were in full revolt and revolution against the King George III…who was about as successful with America as Chuck the Second.

GFS For Midday 2.2.09

GFS For Midday 2.2.09

Weather Bottom Line: Things turned out pretty much as I expected and many of my fears were born out.  Snow White and I were quite blessed this time in that we never lost power, the cable or the phone, though the latter two lines are on the ground.  I haven’t figured out how I still have the cable and the phone.  Snow White was quite restless as we listened to trees cracking and crashing every 5 minutes.  Poor old Piney took a beating but remains standing.  So many of his big branches are gone that it looks like a Dr. Suess tree now.  But, interestingly, the one lower branch remaining is the one that Snow White uses to hang the bird feeder.  Today, amidst all of the carnage of Piney’s big branches strewn around the base, the birds and squirrels were nosing about looking for the bird feeder.  Snow White’s Cafe was back in business by the afternoon.  Again, I’m quite thankful not to have lost the power…it would have been the third time this season we would have been left shivering.

Okay, the excitment is done for now with it remaining cold through the end of the week.  Flurries or largely insignicant light snow is likely on Friday.  If the skies clear on Friday night, temperatures near zero would not be out of the question.  But, any clouds or wind and we may only get down to the mid to upper single digits.  Like that’s any consolation. 

Yesterday, I pointed out the potential for another round of winter weather early next week.  I see that the guys on TV are now making mention…do they read my blog?  Maybe but in all likelihood they saw the same data that I did and now see it again so they are giving it some consideration.  So, if this shakes out, this is how it goes.  Our temperatures move up toward 4o on Sunday in advance of the next system.  That makes sense…storm approaching, flow becomes southerly and temperatures climb.  Then we get a cold rain on Monday keeping the groundhog in his hole which would mean more winter.  That rain turns to snow late Monday into Tuesday.  Right now, the GFS has increased its snow prognastication to something between 4 and 7 inches followed by more pretty cold air.

How this would materialize would fit the tv guy’s idea that we have to have cold air and then a storm within 24 hours.  This past event shows the frivolity of that “rule of thumb” but this next one would prove to fit that model.  Front approaches on Sunday, temps rise. Front comes through on Monday, rain.  Upper level trof shows up in the jet stream and digs all the way down to the Gulf Coast and picks up a low forming off the Louisiana coast.  That low zips up through the flow, brings a bunch of Gulf moisture and tosses it up over the cold air and, voila, we get more winter weather.  The ECMWF also has that solution.  My guess is that this scenario will play out.  The question on the table would be the track of the low.  If it gets picked up at the right time, it moves just to our east and we get dumped on.  If it’s slow to move, then it would get shunted more to the east, say from New Orleans to Raleigh and then we wouldn’t get much snow.  So, it’s out there  and the prospects of another pretty decent winter event is certainly possible.

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.