Who was it who observed that Bugs Bunny is the guy we all hope we are, but Daffy Duck is the guy we fear we really are?
Bugs Bunny is 74 today, having debuted this day in 1940. Read more here, from last year’s commemoration.
Who was it who observed that Bugs Bunny is the guy we all hope we are, but Daffy Duck is the guy we fear we really are?
Bugs Bunny is 74 today, having debuted this day in 1940. Read more here, from last year’s commemoration.
The genius behind P. D. Q Bach, and the compoaser of the score to Silent Running, is 79 today. Happy birthday, Peter Schickele!
May he live to be a happy, robust, still-composing, still performing 139, at least.
Some people know him as a great disk jockey. Some people know him as the singer of cabaret tunes. Some people know and love him as a composer of music for symphony orchestra, or to accompany Where the Wild Things Are.
Then there are those happy masses who know him for his historical work, recovering the works of Johann Sebastian Bach’s final and most wayward child, P. D. Q. Bach.
Tip of the old bathtub-hardened conductor’s baton to Eric Koenig.
This is mostly an encore post. It was scheduled to run on time, not sure why it didn’t — problems of being on the road, you know.
Another good reason to follow the National Archives on Twitter, Tumblr and other media: Great updates.
Like this one on the explosive arrival of the Atomic Age:
On July 16, 1945 the United States tested a nuclear device, code named “Trinity”, for the first time in White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico.
Left: [“Jumbo” atomic device being positioned for “Trinity” test at Alamogordo, New Mexico.], 1945
Right: [“Trinity” explosion], 07/16/1945
Happy 80/20 Day!
Italian economist, engineer and political activist Vilfredo Pareto was born on July 15, 1848, in Paris, where his father had fled due to political difficulties.
Pareto should be more famous, for his explanation of the 80/20 rule, and for his contribution to making better things, the Pareto chart. Many economic texts ignore his work almost completely. Quality management texts ignore his life, too — generally mentioning the principles they borrow, but offering no explanation.
His contributions, as accounted at Wikipedia:
A few economic rules are based on his work:
- The Pareto index is a measure of the inequality of income distribution.
- The Pareto chart is a special type of histogram, used to view causes of a problem in order of severity from largest to smallest. It is a statistical tool that graphically demonstrates the Pareto principle or the 80-20 rule.
- Pareto’s law concerns the distribution of income.
- The Pareto distribution is a probability distribution used, among other things, as a mathematical realization of Pareto’s law.
And now you, dear reader, having just skimmed the surface of the pool of information on Vilfredo Pareto, know more about the man than 99.99% of the rest of the people on the planet. Welcome to the tip-top 0.01%.
Fights over genetically-modified organism (GMO) foods take some odd turns. Some anti-GMO people point to the dangers of DDT in the past as a warning to be super cautious; and some pro-GMO people claim DDT wasn’t all that bad.
Before we hold up the history and science and law of DDT as an example, can we at least get the facts right? That generally is a failing of the pro-DDT people.
Like Mischa Popoff at Greener Ideal.
In its first major action in 1972, the United States Environmental Protection Agency made history by banning dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT). It led to a worldwide ban, all based on the public outcry elicited by marine biologist Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring.
This marks the beginning of the organic movement in America, and remains a badge of honor for organic activists, in spite of the fact that this ban resulted in the deaths of over 41 million people – roughly the same number of people Chairman Mao murdered in his Great Leap Forward – as public-health authorities lost their only effective means of controlling mosquitos that act as a vector for tropical diseases like malaria and dengue fever.
[There's more, dealing with making the case for GMO foods; feel free to click over and read his opinion.]
Millard Fillmore was elected vice president largely because he was on the ticket with the very popular Gen. Zachary Taylor, hero of the Mexican War.
About 15 months into his presidency, President Taylor took ill after presiding over July 4 festivities in blazing heat. He died on July 9, 1850; Vice President Millard Fillmore took the oath as president the next day, and served out the term. 164 years ago today, Millard Fillmore served his first day as President.
Fillmore became the second person to take the presidency of the U.S. without having been elected. John Tyler was William Henry Harrison’s vice president when Harrison died of pneumonia a mere 31 days after being sworn in as president.
Zachary Taylor had encouraged New Mexico and California to draw up state constitutions, which would have disallowed slavery in those states. To southern leaders who threatened secession, Taylor promised to personally lead the army that would hold the union together by force, and personally hang those who had proposed rebellion.
Fillmore had presided over the Senate during months of furious debate on issues that always seemed to come down to slavery. Because he didn’t hold to the views of the Whig Party which had elected the Taylor-Fillmore ticket, even more than Taylor had strayed, the cabinet resigned. Fillmore appointed Daniel Webster as Secretary of State, and proceeded to push for compromise on issues to avoid war. His machinations helped get California admitted as a free state, but left New Mexico as a territory. His support of the Fugitive Slave Act alienated even more Whigs, and by 1852 the Whigs refused to nominate Fillmore for a term of his own. He left office in 1853, succeeded by Franklin Pierce.
Fillmore’s greatest accomplishment as president, perhaps, was his sending a fleet of ships to Japan to force that nation to open up to trade from the U.S. The political furor over the Fugitive Slave Act, the Missouri Compromise, and other issues around slavery, tend to eclipse the memory of the good that Fillmore did.
Nota bene: Controversy surrounded the death of Taylor. Because he had threatened southern secessionists and incurred anger from several other groups, from the time of his death there were rumors he had been poisoned with arsenic. Officially, the cause of death was gastroenteritis; popular accounts note that he had, in the heat of July, drunk milk and eaten cherries and cucumbers. Certainly strep, staph or other bacteria in the milk could have created a problem. In 1991 a team led by George Washington University Law Professor James Starrs exhumed Taylor’s body from his Louisville, Kentucky burial plot, and tested his remains for arsenic at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Analysis presented to the Kentucky medical examiner indicated arsenic levels way too low for a poisoning victim.
President Zachary Taylor died on July 9, 1850. The cause is still not fully clear, but poisoning by arsenic has been ruled out.
What would have happened had Taylor lived?
President Zachary Taylor’s death on July 9, 1850 shocked a nation that was in a heated debate about issues that eventually led to the Civil War. But his sudden passing also sidestepped two constitutional crises.
He fell ill soon after with a stomach ailment. His doctors gave him relief medication that included opium and later bled the president. Taylor died five days later at the age of 65.
Officially, he died from cholera morbus, and today, the prevalent theory is that Taylor suffered from gastroenteritis, an illness exacerbated by poor sanitary conditions in Washington.
There are other theories, including one where Taylor was poisoned by people who supported the South’s pro-slavery position. (In recent years, Taylor’s body was exhumed and a small, non-lethal amount of arsenic was found in samples taken from his corpse.)
It was Taylor’s unexpected opposition to slavery (he was from the South and was the last president to own slaves) that had caused an immediate crisis in 1850.
Taylor ran as a Whig candidate in 1848 and he wasn’t a professional politician. Taylor was a career military man and a hero in the war with Mexico.
Once he took office in March 1849, it became clear that Taylor, the military man, was more interested in preserving the Union than the art of politics.
Taylor decided to press for statehood for the newly acquitted territories of California and New Mexico, and to let the regions hold their own constitutional conventions. This guaranteed that California and New Mexico would join the Union as anti-slavery states, tipping the balance in the Senate to the North.
In any case, Taylor died on July 9.
And on July 10, 1850, his vice president, Millard Fillmore, was sworn in as president.
No, that doesn’t mean the bathtub tale is true.
Few days go by that I don’t hear from some Texas yahoo about the futility of conservation, especially attempts to save sustainable populations of animals near or teetering on the brink of extinction.
Conservation works. Conservation works in Texas. How can they ignore stories like this one, about the conservation of the plains bison, at Texas’s Caprock Canyon State Park?
This film from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department illustrates and discusses the work going on at Caprock Canyon SP to keep a herd of bison there healthy and reproducing:
Published on Feb 1, 2013
Caprock Canyons State Park in the Texas Panhandle holds the last remnants of pure Southern Plains Bison that once numbered in the millions on this land. Watch as this historic herd is restored to its native habitat. For details on visiting the park, see http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-par…
If we had a national mammal, is there much doubt the noble American buffalo would be it?
You can see that conservation is not easy, that serious conservation of animals takes cooperation between governments, federal, state, county and local. Throw in migratory birds, and you’re talking international efforts.
But it’s worth it, at least to me. Wholly apart from the direct benefits to humans — the discovery of drugs like digitalis and tamoxifen, for example — we learn so much about how the planet operates, how nature operates. We get a view into the ideas of God, if not a direct view into the universe’s creative mind.
There are two recognized subspecies in North America: Bison bison bison and B. b. athabascae. We have populations saved in small plots across the U.S.: In and around Yellowstone National Park; on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake; in Utah’s Henry Mountains in the south central part of the state; at the LBJ Grasslands (National Forest); and at Caprock Canyons State Park. At one time, millions of the plains subspecies migrated for hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles, harvesting grass and turning the soil to make the North American Great Plains one of the most productive habitats for plants and animals on the face of the Earth. We screwed that up a bit. The same area today does not produce equally to 200 years ago in fiber and meat, despite modern farming and ranching.
Maybe we can learn a lot more from these creatures, about how to keep food supplies going for that other common, though self-threatened species, Homo sapiens.
Probably can’t improve on the video, but I hope to get some good photos of these creatures for myself, this summer. Check the map above. If your summer travels take you close to a population of bison, why not stop in and visit?
History item: On July 8,1853 four black ships led by USS Powhatan and commanded by Commodore Matthew Perry, anchored at Edo (Tokyo) Bay. Never before had the Japanese seen ships steaming with smoke. They thought the ships were “giant dragons puffing smoke.” They did not know that steamboats existed and were shocked by the number and size of the guns on board the ships.
President Millard Fillmore, defying H. L. Mencken’s later, crabby, hoax claim of do-little-government, sent Matthew C. Perry to Japan to open Japan as a refuge for shipwrecked sailors, and as a coaling stop for steamships. For the previous 200 years, Japan had been closed to all but a few Dutch and Chinese traders. On July 8, 1853, Perry’s small fleet sailed boldly into restricted waters of Japan and anchored.
After some contretemps, which included Japan’s telling Perry to go to Nagasaki instead (where a military party was probably waiting) and Perry’s shelling a few buildings on shore, the Emperor accepted the letter from President Fillmore. Perry told the Emperor he would return the following year for an answer. Perry returned on March 8, 1854, and within a month concluded the Convention of Kanagawa, opening Japan to trade from the west. Generally unheralded, this may have been one of the more important pieces of U.S. diplomacy in history, especially considering the dramatic rise of Japan as an economic and military power, on the basis of the trade Commodore Perry demanded Japan engage in.
We should make special note of the chain of events over the following 85 or so years, culminating in World War II in the Pacific. Had Fillmore not sent Perry, had the U.S. not insisted Japan open itself to the world, would there have been an attack on Pearl Harbor, and war in the Pacific? Alternative histories we’ll never see. But see the discussion at Salon, in 2014, about this topic (conveniently leaving out Millard Fillmore’s role), “What sparked Japan’s aggression during World War II?”
Documents below the fold
All these years I didn’t know.
Will you remind me in 2015, a week or so in advance, so we can get appropriate celebratory posts up here at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub?
Links below can get us into position to commemorate the day adequately, next year.
You know the story, don’t you? If you don’t, you should commit this one to memory. It’s not fiction, and if you proposed it for fiction, the editors would reject it as too improbable, or too sappy, a tug on your heartstrings and tear ducts. It’s true, better than the faux patriot fiction we often get on July 4.
July 4, 2014, is the 238th anniversary of the announcement of the Declaration of Independence. I hope you’re thinking about how you’ll fly the flag this weekend in honor of the Declaration of Independence.
The resolution proposed by Richard Henry Lee calling for independence of the 13 colonies passed the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. The Declaration would be Thomas Jefferson’s crowning achievement, outshining even his presidency and the Louisiana Purchase. John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, that July 2 would forever be marked by patriotic displays.
But the Declaration itself, which gave teeth to the resolution, was adopted two days later on July 4. That has come to be the day we celebrate.
Adams didn’t miss a beat. Who quibbles about a couple of days when the celebrating is so good?
Adams and Jefferson were two of the five-member committee the Congress had tasked to write a declaration. Adams and Ben Franklin quickly determined to leave it up to Jefferson, who had a grand flair with words, and who had just written a couple of stirring documents for Virginia. Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston, the other two members, went along. And so it was that the Declaration of Independence is almost completely the work of Thomas Jefferson.
Adams and Jefferson became friends only later, when they both served the nation at war as ambassadors to France, and then for Adams, to England. A widower, Jefferson was taken in by Abigail Adams who worried about him. After the war, Jefferson was in England when Adams was to meet King George III in a grand ceremony in which the king would accept the credentials of all the ambassadors of foreign nations to England. As the king strode down the line, each ambassador or delegation would bow, the king would acknowledge them, the papers would be passed, and the king would move on. Adams and Jefferson bowed. King George moved on, ignoring them completely.
In such a case of such a snub, the snubbed foreigners usually made a quick exit. Adams and Jefferson did not. They stood at attention as if the king had treated them like all the rest, reversing the snub. From the beginning, Americans and the United States pushed for more practical, reasonable, and compassionate government and relations. Standing together, against the snub of the British King one more time, Adams and Jefferson formed a silent bond that held them the rest of their lives.
Back in America in peacetime, and both members of the administration of George Washington, Adams and Jefferson fell out. Secretary of State Jefferson favored a more limited federal government; Vice President Adams favored a more powerful one. By the end of Washington’s second term, party politics had been well developed. Adams defeated Jefferson in the election of 1796. As was the law then, Jefferson was vice president as the runner-up vote getter in the electoral college; but Adams kept Jefferson out of all government affairs. Perhaps because he didn’t have Jefferson to help, Adams’s presidency did not go well. In the rematch election in 1800, one of the bitterest election fights ever, Jefferson’s party defeated Adams. The gleeful Democratic-Republican electors all voted one ballot for Jefferson, the presidential candidate, and one ballot for Aaron Burr, the party’s vice presidential candidate.
Alas, that produced a tie vote in the electoral college. Adams’s party, the Federalists, still held the House of Representatives before the new Congress came in. A tie vote goes to the House for decision. They could not bring themselves to vote for Jefferson, and the deadlock continued for 37 ballots. Finally Jefferson’s former friend but now arch-enemy Alexander Hamilton intervened, explaining that Burr was clearly the greater scoundrel, and the House elected Jefferson. Adams slunk out of town, avoiding the inauguration.
It wasn’t until after 1809 when Benjamin Rush hoodwinked Jefferson into writing to Adams, and Adams to Jefferson, that the two became friendly again. For the next 17 years Jefferson and Adams carried on perhaps the greatest series of correspondence in history between two great minds. Letters went out almost daily, from Monticello, Virginia, to Braintree, Massachusetts, and from Braintree to Monticello. They discussed the weather, their families, old times, farming — but especially the republic they had been most instrumental in creating, and how it might be preserved, and made to prosper. Eventually the letters became harder to read, both because their eyesight was failing, and because their penmanship deteriorated, too.
The ideas, however, flowed like a great river of freedom. Perhaps this correspondence was the river flowing justice the prophet Amos foretold.
Both men took ill early in 1826. This was a landmark year, 50 years since the Declaration of Independence. In Massachusetts, a grand display of fireworks was planned to cap off a day of feasting and celebration. Adams hoped he might attend. In Virginia, a week before, it became clear Jefferson was too ill to venture even as close as Charlottesville for the celebration. Jefferson sent his regrets to invitations from several celebrations. Jefferson slept through most of July 3, but awoke about 9:00 p.m., and asked, “This is the fourth?” It was not. These are the last significant, recorded words of Jefferson. He awoke at about 4:00 a.m. on the Fourth of July, 1826, but could not make a rally. He died at 12:50 in the afternoon.
Adams, too, was too ill to attend the celebrations. In the late afternoon or early evening of the Fourth, he awoke, and heard the celebration in the town. Almost as if he had worked just to live to see that particular day, he checked the date. Realizing he was near the end, happy that he’d seen 50 years after the Declaration, and unaware of the events a few hours earlier that day in Virginia, Adams said, “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Adams, too, died on July 4, 1826.
Fly your flag July 4th. Remember John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Remember their great work in creating the nation that protects our freedoms today. Remember their great friendship. Write a letter to a good friend you’ve not written to lately.
It is Independence Day, a day created and celebrated by great men like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Their spirit survives in us, as we celebrate, and if we remember why we celebrate as friends.
A soak in Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub is nothing if not a steeping in tradition. Fly your flag today, to celebrate the independence of the American colonies of Britain.
Fourth of July: NPR has already read the Declaration of Independence (or will soon, if you’re up early), PBS is ready to broadcast the Capitol Fourth concert (maybe a rebroadcast is available, if you’re off at your own town’s fireworks — check your local listings), your town has a parade somewhere this weekend, or a neighboring community does, and fireworks are everywhere.
At the White House, traditionally, new citizens are sworn in — often people who joined our armed forces and fought for our nation, before even getting the privileges of citizenship. Fireworks on the Capital Mall will be grand, with the White House hosting a few thousand military people and their families from some of the best views. Traditionally, five photographers, chosen by lottery, get to shoot photos of the fireworks from the windows of the Washington Monument; will that occur, with the Monument shut down from public view for repair from the earthquake?
There will be great fireworks also in Baltimore Harbor over Fort McHenry, the fort whose siege inspired Francis Scott Key to write the “Star-spangled Banner” from his boat in the harbor, in 1814. Firworks will frighten the bluebirds nesting at Yorktown National Battlefield. I suspect there will be a grand display at Gettysburg, on the 150th anniversary of the end of that battle. July 4, 1863, also marked the end of the Siege of Vicksburg; tradition holds that Vicksburg did not celebrate the 4th of July for 83 years after that. I’ll wager there will be fireworks there tonight. In Provo, Utah, the city poobahs will have done all they can to try to live up to their self-proclaimed reputation as having the biggest Independence Day celebration in the nation. The celebration in Prescott, Arizona, is muted by the tragic deaths of 19 Hot Shot firefighters last week; will drought halt the fireworks, too? There will be fireworks around the Golden Gate Bridge, in Anchorage, Alaska, reflecting on the waters of Pearl Harbor, and probably in Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Marianas Islands.
Fireworks on the Fourth is a long tradition – a tradition that kept John Adams and Thomas Jefferson alive, until they both died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, in 1826, the sounds of the fireworks letting Adams know the celebration had begun (Adams erroneously celebrated that Jefferson, the Declaration’s author, still lived, unable to know Jefferson had passed just hours earlier).
If you’re not on the Moon, here are some tips on flag etiquette, how to appropriately fly our national standard.
This is mostly an encore post, but I so love that photo of the flag with the Earth in the distance.
Happy birthday, Kathryn!
Tip of the old scrub brush to Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and the cast of thousands of patriots including George Washington.
Every kid should learn this stuff by third grade, but it’s clear from what we see that they don’t.
So here’s a quick review of dos and don’ts for display and behavior toward the U.S. flag on this most flag-worthy of days, the 4th of July. With a few comments.
1. Fly your flag, from sunup to sundown. If you’re lucky enough to have a flagpole, run the flag up quickly. Retire it slowly at sunset. Then go see fireworks.
2. Display flags appropriately, if not flown from a staff. If suspended from a building or a wall, remember the blue field of stars should always be on the flag’s right — the “northwest corner” or left as you look at it. Do not display a flag flat, parallel to the ground.
3. Salute the flag as it opens the 4th of July parade. In a better world, there would be just one U.S. flag at the opening of the parade, and the entire crowd would rise as it passes them in a great patriotic, emotional wave — civilians with their hands over their hearts, hats off; people in uniform saluting appropriately with hats on. It’s likely that your local parade will not be so crisp. Other entries in the parade will have flags, and many will be displayed inappropriately. A true patriot might rise and salute each one — but that would look silly, perhaps even sillier than those sunshine patriots who display the flag inappropriately. Send them a nice letter this year, correcting their behavior. But don’t be obnoxious about it.
4. Do not display the flag from a car antenna, attached to a window of a car, or attached in the back of a truck. That’s against the Flag Code, which says a flag can only be displayed attached to the right front fender of a car, usually with a special attachment. This means that a lot of the National Guard entries in local parades will be wrongly done, according to the flag code. They defend the flag, and we should not make pests of ourselves about it. Write them a letter commending their patriotism. Enclose the Flag Code, and ask them to stick to it next time. Innocent children are watching.
5. Do not dishonor the flag by abusing it or throwing it on the ground. It’s become popular for a local merchant to buy a lot of little plastic flags and pass them out to parade goers. If there is an advertisement on the flag, that is another violation of the Flag Code. The flag should not be used for commercial purposes. I have, several times, found piles of these flags on the ground, dumped by tired people who were passing them out, or dumped by parade goers who didn’t want to carry the things home. It doesn’t matter if it’s printed on cheap plastic, and made in China — it is our nation’s flag anyway. Honor it. If it is worn, dispose of it soberly, solemnly, and properly.
That’s probably enough for today. When the Flag Desecration Amendment passes — if it ever does — those parade float makers, National Guard soldiers, and merchants, can all be jailed, perhaps. Or punished in other ways. And wouldn’t that be silly and unproductive?
Until that time, our best hope is to review the rules, obey them, and set examples for others.
Have a wonderful 4th of July! Fly the flag. Read the Declaration of Independence out loud. Love your family, hug them, and feed them well. That’s part of the Pursuit of Happiness that this day honors. It is your right, your unalienable right. Use it wisely, often and well.
Happy birthday, Kathryn!
More, and Additional Resources:
American Experience makes a Facebook presence. On July 1, they posted one of my favorite photos of Teddy Roosevelt (and one of the more famous):
On July 1, 1898 Theodore Roosevelt and his volunteer cavalry, the Rough Riders, stormed Kettle Hill and helped capture San Juan Hill.
Learn more about Roosevelt and the Rough Riders: http://to.pbs.org/1x730Kv
But, it’s Teddy Roosevelt! There is always so much more!
On my Facebook timeline I answered:
And started the ball rolling that would make Teddy Roosevelt the only person ever to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace, and the Medal of Honor for war.
What an interesting character.
P.S. — TR resigned his job as Asst. Secretary of the Navy to enlist; told that there was no group for him to lead, he proceeded to recruit fellow Harvard Law classmates, and fellow South Dakota cowboys, to form the roughriders. Wouldn’t you love to have sat around a campfire with THAT group?
The horses of the Rough Riders were stuck on a ship in the harbor when they made this assault. Famous for riding horses, their reputation was earned on foot, with their horses on a boat.
You couldn’t make that stuff up for a fictional account.
It was a short war; by the end of the year TR was back in New York, wangling to get elected governor, which he did. His do-good, reformer ways rubbed the corrupt GOP machine the wrong way, however, and when William McKinley’s Vice President Garret A. Hobart died, they seized the opportunity to bury Roosevelt forever; they got him nominated vice president for McKinley’s second term. They probably remembered, and thought always true, that old Mark Twain story, about the poor widow who had two sons: One went off to sea, and the other was elected vice president, and neither was ever heard from again.
Assassination struck for the third time in our presidential history. By the end of 1901, Teddy Roosevelt was President of the United States.
Just like Teddy to ride into history, too impatient to wait for a horse to ride on.
“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 to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776
In writing to his wife Abigail on July 3, John Adams committed one of those grand errors even he would laugh at afterward. We’ll forgive him when the fireworks start firing.
1776 filled the calendar with dates deserving of remembrance and even celebration. John Adams, delegate from Massachusetts to the Second Continental Congress, wrote home to his wife Abigail that future generations would celebrate July 2, the date the Congress voted to approve Richard Henry Lee’s resolution declaring independence from Britain for 13 of the British colonies in America.
Two days later, that same Congress approved the wording of the document Thomas Jefferson had drafted to announce Lee’s resolution to the world.
Today, we celebrate the date of the document Jefferson wrote, and Richard Henry Lee is often a reduced to a footnote, if not erased from history altogether.
Who can predict the future?
(You know, of course, that Adams and Jefferson both died 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1826. In the 50 intervening years, Adams and Jefferson were comrades in arms and diplomacy in Europe, officers of the new government in America, opposing candidates for the presidency, President and Vice President, ex-President and President, bitter enemies, then long-distance friends writing almost daily about how to make a great new nation. Read David McCullough‘s version of the story, if you can find it.)
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