“The . . . day of July, 1776?” What day?
Faithful readers, and good students of history know that John Adams thought, in 1776, that July 2 would be celebrated as Independence Day. Why? July 2, 1776, was the day the 2nd Continental Congress voted to declare the colonies independent of Britain, and no longer under the rule of the Crown or Parliament.
The Declaration of Independence — the press release explaining Richard Henry Lee’s resolution for independence — sat ready to be discussed. The Congress did not adopt the Declaration until two days later, on July 4.
Our Independence Day celebration falls on the date of the adoption of the Declaration, not the date of the actual resolution declaring independence.
This is a point of great humor among historians. Even John Adams, more prescient than most soothsayers, could not predict accurately when Americans would celebrate independence. Here at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, we often make a post on or about July 2, noting that humorous discrepancy.
That’s interesting. It’s inspiring to know these august figures, near-gods in the American pantheon of the 21st century, got things wrong. It’s humorous. It’s good history.
What in the hell was David Barton thinking?
What evil purpose is he trying to serve by hiding real history, in such a bizarrely petty way? Why create a hoax when the words themselves support the point you’re wishing to make, that John Adams thought Americans should celebrate independence?
Sheesh! He comes so close to getting something accurate, but he can’t resist monkeying with the words of the Founders. David Barton reminds me of the guy who cheated at golf so much that, one day when he hit a hole-in-one, he wrote “0!” on the scorecard. A man who will lie to us about one of the most famous letters in American history will lie about anything, for fun.
- Good Question: Why Do We Celebrate The 4th Of July? (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
- John Adams on celebrating the 2nd of July (toddlohenry.com)
- Happy Fourth of July (anakalianwhims.wordpress.com)
- Quote of the moment, still: John Adams, July 2 “the most memorable Epocha in the History of America” (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- Chris Rodda noted that an Ohio school district dodged a bullet when they decided not to poison the minds of their teachers with a David Barton “Constitution course”