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Declarations: The miracle of independence

July 01. 2018 8:32PM

“The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America... It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

— John Adams

Don’t blame Adams for getting the date wrong. It was 242 years ago today that the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution declaring independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence itself was dated July 4, and that’s the date that stuck.

We will publish the Declaration in full tomorrow. It not only listed the colonies’ grievances against King George, but made the moral case for the right of free people to determine how best to govern themselves.

“ secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...”

On this date 242 years ago, our forefathers declared independence not just from a tyrannical king of a distant empire, but from the claim of men to rule each other.

As we revel in the “Pomp and Parade” Adams foretold, remember that the holiday is more than just the Fourth of July.

It is Independence Day.

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