Why July 2 is really America’s Independence Day


declaration-of-independence-and-a-feather

Because it was on July 2, 1776, that the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia voted to approve a resolution for independence from Britain.

On that same day, the Pennsylvania Evening Post published this: “This day the Continental Congress declared the United Colonies Free and Independent States.”

So why do we celebrate July 4th as Independence Day?

We do because of a little thing called the Declaration of Independence.

The document was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4th. The first draft of the declaration was written by Thomas Jefferson, who gave it to John Adams and Benjamin Franklin for editing. (You can read about it at the National Archives Web site.) Jefferson then took their version, refined it further and presented it to the Congress.

Scholars don’t even think the document was signed by delegates of the Continental Congress on July 4th.

The huge canvas painting by John Trumbull hanging in the grand Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol depicting the signing of the Declaration is, it turns out, a work of imagination. In his biography of John Adams, historian David McCullough wrote: “No such scene, with all the delegates present, ever occurred at Philadelphia.”

It is now believed that most of the delegates signed it on Aug. 2. That’s when the assistant to the secretary of Congress, Timothy Matlack, produced a clean copy.

John Hancock, who was the president of the Continental Congress, signed first, right in the middle of the area for signatures. The last delegate to sign, according to the National Archives, is believed to be Thomas McKean of Delaware, some time in 1777.

The city of Philadelphia, where the Declaration was signed, waited until July 8 to celebrate, with a parade and the firing of guns. The Continental Army under the leadership of George Washington didn’t learn about it until July 9.

As for the British government in London, well, it didn’t know that the United States had declared independence until Aug. 30.

By Valerie Strauss

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-july-2-is-really-americas-independence-day/2012/07/02/gJQABsMHIW_blog.html

Let go of your Stresses!


A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.” It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

– Pritesh Kalantri