The Declaration of Independence- Happy July 4th!

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

To live in a country that allows every person to pursue happiness is probably one of the greatest privileges on this Earth.The   Declaration of Independence has given so much freedom to all of us living in this amazing country called United States of America- that sometimes it's so easy to forget just how much we have.   We are not harassed or worse killed for wanting to live or think different. Difference is encouraged. We want someone to oppose us so then we can prove just how right we really are.

Today, take a minute to just enjoy that you have the power to create the world around you. Enjoy that you are alive in a place that gives you rights that would seem alien to someone living in a 3rd world country. Enjoy that you can be who you want to be, wear what you want to wear and say what you want to say. To be honest, I often wish we could muzzle so many idiots who need to 'get heard' and spew garbage into the world- but that's the thing about this country, it will allow even the idiots, the dishonest, the ill-hearted to speak and live the way they choose- aside from the obvious breaking of laws.

We all know, this country is not perfect, with a incredible imperfect history but   as Morgan Freeman says in this video, there is still a struggle to close the gap between the ideals of the declaration of Independence and American life. Hopefully we will reach the ideal that Thomas Jefferson intended- and beyond- since there is no mention of women in the Declaration document.

Here are some basic facts from the Library of congress

Additional references to the Declaration of Independence can be found in the  Journals of the Continental Congress  on the following dates in 1776:

  • June 7 - Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution urging Congress to declare independence from Great Britain.
  • June 11 - Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed to a committee to draft a declaration of independence.
  • June 28 - A fair copy of the committee draft of the Declaration of Independence was read in Congress.
  • July 1-4 - Congress debated and revised the Declaration of Independence.
  • July 2 - Congress declared independence by adopting the Lee Resolution.
  • July 4 - Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.
  • July 4 - Congress ordered that the Declaration of Independence be printed (Dunlap Broadsides).
  • July 19 - Congress ordered the Declaration of Independence engrossed (officially inscribed) and signed by members.
  • August 2 - The engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence was signed by most of the delegates. Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean, and Matthew Thornton all signed on a later date.

A printed copy of the final version of the Declaration of Independence is available in theUnited States Statutes at Large and  Elliot's Debates.

Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789

For additional links about Declaration.

Library of Congress

Reading of the Declaration of Independence- NPR