Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

"We must, indeed, all hang together or most assuredly we shall all hang separately!"
--Benjamin Franklin's quip on declaring independence

It all happened 233 years ago in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Let's celebrate by re-reading Jefferson's famous words:

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

You may be delighted to see what John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776, about declaring independence from the British Crown:
"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, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp & parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore."
Yes, indeed! It was, though, only the beginning. Independence was declared in 1776, but it took many more years of hardship in the American Revolution to win freedom at last in 1781. Looking back now at history with 20/20 vision, things seem so certain -- but only because we know what would happen. We forget how difficult it was to bring forth a nation, now the oldest modern democracy in the world, but which in 1776 was a bold experiment. (And here is a great quote and a nice editorial.)

History aside, it's a HOLIDAY, so it is time to enjoy and have a good time! Bring on the fireworks, picnics, cookouts, parades, music, and festivities. Here are a few Fourth of July links to give your day a flourish of fun:
And since I am incorrigibly apt to inject some quirky humor into darn near everything, I give you two amusing videos for today:

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