Since I'm away and press for time, I've decided to re-post my comments from last year as they are still wholly appropriate:
The Continental Congress passed a Resolution declaring the independence of the 13 colonies on July 2, 1776, 234 years ago today.This is why John Adams said, "The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore"
However, the formal declaration was not approved until the 4th, which of course is the day we celebrate. So Johnny was two days off.
Anyway, in these times when a minority of reactionaries twist, color and outright lie about what the American Revolutionary leaders thought (as if they all agreed in lockstep) I want to quote the man from my home town again, John Adams, from his Thoughts on Government:
"We ought to consider what is the end of government, before we determine which is the best form. Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all divines and moral philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man. From this principle it will follow, that the form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest number of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best."
"Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially of the lower class of people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant."