A Fourth of July Message from ALSM’s President & CEO
Believe it or not we are celebrating the 4th of July! Where has the year gone? I hope your year is going well and getting back to whatever we call “normal” these days.
In the long-term care/human service world, COVID continues to be a challenge. Our staff is still wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), and testing and vaccinating also continues. Likely, it will be several months before we get back to some “normal.”
As part of my 4th of July message, I thought I would share some facts from www.history.com about this holiday.
The Fourth of July – also known as Independence Day – 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.
When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical.
By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in Thomas Paine’s bestselling pamphlet, “Common Sense,” published in early 1776.
On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence.
Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution, but appointed a five-man committee – including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Johns Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, and Robert R. Livingston of New York—to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.
A bit of trivia — John Adams believed that July 2 was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence and would reportedly turn down invitations to appears at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826 – the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2nd “will be celebrated be 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.”
Finally, on July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the date that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.
As we celebrate our independence for which we all should be most grateful, I hope you all enjoy a safe and healthy holiday. We look forward to times in which we can gather in celebration.
Patricia W. Savage