Independence Day Break


The next post is scheduled for Monday, July 6, 2019.


May God bless you and your loved ones with a safe, happy celebration, or just a nice day off! 


Best wishes,


Richard Ellinghuysen



In this file:


·         Independence Day (United States)

·         United States Declaration of Independence

·         Freedom Prayer for Independence Day

·         For beef families, July 4 is more than just fireworks



Independence Day (United States)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

as of July 1, 2020


Independence Day (colloquially the Fourth of July or July 4) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject (and subordinate) to the monarch of Britain, King George III, and were now united, free, and independent states. The Congress had voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2, but it was not declared until July 4.


Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches, and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.


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United States Declaration of Independence


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

as of July 1, 2020


The United States Declaration of Independence is the pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. The Declaration explained why the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain regarded themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America. The declaration was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.


The Lee Resolution for independence was passed on July 2 with no opposing votes. The Committee of Five had drafted the Declaration to be ready when Congress voted on independence. John Adams, a leader in pushing for independence, had persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which Congress edited to produce the final version. The Declaration was a formal explanation of why Congress had voted to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America" – although Independence Day is actually celebrated on July 4, the date that the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved.


After ratifying the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms. It was initially published as the printed Dunlap broadside that was widely distributed and read to the public. The source copy used for this printing has been lost and may have been a copy in Thomas Jefferson's hand. Jefferson's original draft is preserved at the Library of Congress, complete with changes made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, as well as Jefferson's notes of changes made by Congress. The best-known version of the Declaration is a signed copy that is displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and which is popularly regarded as the official document. This engrossed copy (finalized, calligraphic copy) was ordered by Congress on July 19 and signed primarily on August 2.


The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry. The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing 27 colonial grievances against King George III and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution. Its original purpose was to announce independence, and references to the text of the Declaration were few in the following years. Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his policies and his rhetoric, as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863. Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:


    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


This has been called "one of the best-known sentences in the English language", containing "the most potent and consequential words in American history". The passage came to represent a moral standard to which the United States should strive. This view was notably promoted by Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy and argued that it is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted.


The Declaration of Independence inspired many similar documents in other countries, the first being the 1789 Declaration of United Belgian States issued during the Brabant Revolution in the Austrian Netherlands. It also served as the primary model for numerous declarations of independence in Europe and Latin America, as well as Africa (Liberia) and Oceania (New Zealand) during the first half of the 19th century...


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Freedom Prayer for Independence Day


Lord God Almighty, in whose name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have the grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.



(1979 Book of Common Prayer, Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA)


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For beef families, July 4 is more than just fireworks

This Independence Day weekend, take a minute to reflect on what matters most in your life.


Burt Rutherford, BEEF Magazine 

Jul 01, 2020


"I run my hand along the stock, and the wood is warm to the touch."


So began a short essay I wrote many years ago paying tribute to an old Winchester 30-30 that has been part of my family history for three generations. The Model 94 was manufactured in 1907 by craftsmen who knew their trade and did it well, testament to the fact that it stands at the ready now just as it has for more than 100 years.


It became part of my family’s story during the Depression, when my grandfather gave $5 to a miner suffering from “miner’s consumption” or silicosis and needed the money far more than he needed a 30-30. That was back when $5 bought a week's worth of groceries.


The Winchester put meat on the table during the dark days of the Depression and helped bring my father and each his three younger brothers into manhood.


This all came to mind recently as I reflected on the upcoming Independence Day weekend and the end of the first half of a year that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. Already economists have made comparisons to the economic impact of COVID-19 versus the Great Depression. Unemployment, for example, is higher now than during the Depression.


2020 may well define life for the children and grandchildren of this decade just as the Depression did for my dad. How will the children of 2020 and beyond react to the social and cultural upheaval defining their times? Will they have similar reactions to the children of the Depression, like my father was?


I doubt it. During the Depression, my grandfather was foreman of a Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) work camp. He had to sweat for his government money. Today, the government just hands it out. Indeed, the world is different now.


But not entirely. Some things remain, untouched and unmoved by the by the ebb and flow of a changing society and the changing culture that drives it.


Like an old 30-30. And the holidays and traditions that are an essential part of America and who we are as Americans.


In my mind, Memorial Day and Independence Day are the two most important national holidays we celebrate. That's because they serve as poignant and unchanging reminders of who and what we are as Americans. They are important on a national scale for that, just as each of us has a memory, a memento, a reminder of who we are as individuals.


According to, the Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution.


On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence. On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”


Two days later, delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.


And here's an interesting historical note...


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