First, apologies for abandoning my post at such a key moment in the shutdown story. I had to fly back east to check on my mom. I’ll try to get back into the big story as soon as I can figure out what I missed.
Second, I have developed a small and probably annoying tradition of posting every year around the 4th of July a reminder that the historical importance of the events of July 4, 1776, have been greatly overstated by the fireworks industry and American culture in general.
July 4 was not the day the Continental Congress voted to become independent (that was July 2), nor was it the day the signers signed the declaration of Independence (they signed on many different days over a long period but most of them signed on Aug. 2). The significance of July 4 was only that that was the day the members adopted the final language of the official Declaration of Independence, which they had been editing.
If you want more details (including the wonderful letter from John Adams to Abigail, written July 3, predicting that July 2 “will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival”) they are summarized in this, the 2008 version, of this annual annoying post.
P.S. My wife and I enjoyed the neighborhood fireworks display last night and this is a great country (and a great neighborhood).