On July 3rd, 1776, John Adams wrote a letter from which the below statement has been excerpted:
– 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 by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever.
You will think me transported with enthusiasm; but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of light and glory; I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph, although you and I may rue, which I hope we shall not. -
Perhaps you are wondering why July SECOND and not July FOURTH was supposed to be the most celebrated day in American history? Perhaps you are also wondering why the famous mural by John Trumbull of the Declaration of Independence (pictured above and also on the two-dollar bill if you have one handy), which reads at its base “Congress, at the Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 4, 1776″ is completely inaccurate down to the date and event depicted?
Perhaps you’re even wondering what is special about this document and why it is so significant?
Today on Hindsight, Tom and Matthew discuss these questions and many others as we navigate the truths, tales and everything in between regarding the most important document and day in the history of the United States of America. Tune in so you can celebrate with historical accuracy this Independence Day!
… or at least drunkenly misquote our show during the fireworks.