Independence Day

It’s coming up. Look for it in your neighborhood. John Adams gave us some advance warning of what he thought would and should transpire on July 4th each year (only he thought it would surely be July 2nd—the day the proposal to break with Great Britain was agreed upon). The Declaration itself would be approved and ratified on July 4.

John Adams wrote to Abigail: “Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was nor will be decided among Men . . . The 2nd day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha [sic], 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 and Parade, with Shews [sic], Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” (“Abigail Adams, a Biography”, 1987, by Phyllis Lee Levin, pages 90-91. Capitals as in the original.)

You see that John got the activities and fireworks correct—he just missed the day of celebration by 2 days!

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