Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A JULY 4TH THAT ALMOST WASN’T by Kathleen Bittner Roth

A JULY 4TH THAT ALMOST WASN’T

by Kathleen Bittner Roth


July 4th 1776 didn’t start out as a holiday to be celebrated with family gatherings, picnics, and fireworks. Actually, it wasn’t until 1870, nearly a hundred years after the Declaration of Independence was written before Congress declared July 4th as a national holiday. And it wasn’t until 1939 and 1941 that further legislation regarding national holidays such as Christmas and Easter included July 4th as a day of celebrating the birth of the United States of America.

Thomas Jefferson

In fact, July 4th wasn’t the day the Continental Congress declared Independence from Great Britain. The first draft was written by Thomas Jefferson back in June of that year, and declared on July 2nd. The document wasn’t delivered to a surprised British government until the following November.

Still, not much was done in the beginning about celebrating this important passage. In fact, around about 1790, the Declaration became controversial. Bitter conflicts arose between the Federalists, who opposed the Declaration as being too anti-British and backing the French, versus the Democrat-Republicans who were much in favor of Jefferson’s written document. The Declaration of Independence practically fell by the wayside as being questionable and/or of any value.

It wasn’t until the War of 1812 when things began to change. This was when the Federalist party came apart at the seams while new parties began forming who favored Jefferson and the questionable Declaration. By 1830 a revised document with the date July 4th, 1776 began to circulate.
 
John Adams

Perhaps it was the deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4th 1826 that finally cemented the date as one to be celebrated by an entire nation. As we look back at history undressed, could it be that the deaths of these two men are the real reason we hang out our flags, fire up our grills, make the potato salads, and any other tasty potluck gems as we gather together with our friends and family to roast marshmallows and end our celebration by watching dazzling fireworks light the night sky in a land that remains free and independent of others?


Kathleen Bittner Roth creates evocative stories featuring characters forced to draw on their strength of spirit to overcome adversity and find unending love. Her own fairy tale wedding in a Scottish castle led her to her current residence in Budapest, Hungary, considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities. A PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, Kathleen was a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart® contest. 

You can find Kathleen at:

Website:          www.kathleenbittnerroth.com
Twitter:           @K_BittnerRoth
Pinterest          https://hu.pinterest.com/bittnerroth/

1 comment:

Lane McFarland said...

Very interesting, Kathleen! Thank you for sharing this information on July 4th.