"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…"

Stretching the remit, slightly.. History geeks may be interested in this wonderful series of posts at The Sheila Variations in celebration of this date in 1776 when “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America” was formally adopted by the Continental Congress. What may be less well known, outside of the US, is that 50 years after that revolutionary event, to the day, the two main architects of that Revolution, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, died within hours of each other. – More on the Declaration here, here, here, and here, and all posts in between.

  • Tim Roll-Pickering

    What’s also not well known is that the US technically declared independence on July 2nd 1776 when Congress passed a resolution to that effect. The Declaration is as much a piece of propaganda as anything else.

  • peteb

    What’s also not well known is that the US technically declared independence on July 2nd 1776 when Congress passed a resolution to that effect.

    The final text was approved on the 2nd July, Tim.. but the declaration was “formally adopted” on the 4th July.

  • red

    Actually, Tim, the Declaration was supposed to be a piece of propoganda. That was the whole point of it. Just like Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was. Political propaganda, in a high rhetorical form.

    It just so happens, though, that Jefferson put in the whole “natural rights” paragraph which uplifts it from a mere current-events broadside. That’s the paragraph that has stood the test of time, because it rises above the grievances against George III.

    But my main point is: Yes. It is propaganda. That was the whole point.

  • Tim Roll-Pickering

    I agree – but the US insists on celebrating independence on the wrong day! Why does this reinforce the American stereotype?

  • Young Fogey

    The link in the Paisley and parades story is broken.

  • Steve

    Mr. Bush has made me a cynic in most matters political, but I am a Jefferson groupie of the highest order.

    President Kennedy put it best:

    “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”