I found this really cool website with all the original documents, transcripts, and some cool information. I kind of enjoy perusing this kind of stuff.
Here are some pretty cool facts:
- Not all members of the 2nd Continental Congress supported a formal Declaration of Independence, but those who did were passionate about it. One representative rode 80 miles by horseback to reach Philadelphia and break a tie in support of independence.
- Independence Day commemorates the formal adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, when it was unanimously approved by the 2nd Continental Congress.
- However, it was not observed as a holiday until after the War of 1812
- And, it was not declared a legal federal holiday until 1941.
This site was pretty cool too. When I first learned the song Yankee Doodle when I was in kindergarten I wondered what a Yankee noodle was. Well, Yankee is believed to be a misinterpretation of the word English, and Doodle is supposed to refer to a dumb person.
So, while it was used in the past as a "derogative" song, it was sang by the British to make fun of the American Colonists. The colonists in turn adapted this song as their own and made it their own "rallying anthem."
Anyway, I love the picture I pulled out for this post. It shows how hard the founders worked at creating the worlds most perfect document. I wonder what the world would be like today if these guys were still alive.