Ten Surprising Facts about Independence Day
was the “new guy” in town when he wrote the Declaration of
had never attended the Continental Congress until 1776. John
Adams picked this 30-year-old county boy for two reasons:
Jefferson’s writing style was frank and full of flourishes
and he was fromVirginia
, a smart move uniting the South forNew England
Declaration was a rush job.
The Continental Congress was in such a hurry to seeJefferson
’s first draft, that they used his handwritten copy to
debate, not waiting to get it printed as they had done with
Humor kept Thomas
The three-day debate over the Declaration was so intense that
Benjamin Franklin told an anguished Thomas Jefferson funny
stories and jokes to keep him calm while Congress criticized
King George III was
The most famous phrase from the Declaration of Independence is
“life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” but the
Declaration documents more than 25 “bad acts” by tyrant
and terrorist King George III, such as kidnapping Americans
and hiring foreigners to fight against them.
They melted his
Some patriots were so excited after the first public reading
of the Declaration in Manhattan, that they pulled down a
statue of King George III (at Broadway and the Bowling Green)
on July 9, 1776, and melted “his royal likeness” into
42,000 musket balls—the first of many New York
“fireworks” to come.
The Declaration was
not truly unanimous.
Congress counted the votes by colonies not by delegates, with
each state getting one vote. Hence, the Declaration was
“unanimous” without every delegate supporting it.
Declaration was the same as signing a death warrant.
The Declaration’s signers knew
they had earned a spot on the King’s most-wanted list,
prompting Benjamin Franklin to say, “We must all hang
together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
The Declaration is
why we have states and not colonies.
Shortly after the Declaration, Samuel Adams found himself
correcting his terminology in his letters, scratching out
“colonies” and replacing them with “states.”
Poor manners kept
the war going.
Not long after the Declaration, a British General sent George
Washington a deal. But, the letter addressed
as an ordinary citizen and not as “His
Excellency”—proper manners for recognizing a legitimate
leader of a independent power. A perceptive
refused the deal. It was a ruse.
The King’s New
Year’s Resolution was Dependence, not
George III’s New Year’s Resolution was “independence can
never be possible.” After the war, he told John Adams he was
the last in
to consent to separation. The Prime Minister and Parliament
compelled the king to accept it in the end.