“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” – Erma Bombeck
Did you know that Connecticut played a vital role in the forming of our nation? In September 1774, Connecticut was the first colony to answer the call for a Continental Congress, selecting delegates Roger Sherman, Silas Deane, and Eliphalet Dyer to serve in the pursuit of independence from British rule over the colonies. The Continental Congress and its successor, the Confederation Congress, would govern the young country until the Constitution was implemented in 1789.
This July 4th, as we celebrate the U.S.A.’s 245th birthday, let’s take a closer look at the events of those early days.
- Congress ruled in favor of independence on July 2nd, 1776.
- The “Committee of Five,” comprised of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston, drafted the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson, regarded as the strongest, most eloquent writer, wrote most of the document.
- The final draft of the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776. John Hancock, president of Congress, was the first to sign the document. His signature in the middle of the document was the largest, giving birth to the common phrase “put your John Hancock.”
- The Declaration was signed on July 4th by only John Hancock and Charles Thompson, secretary of the Congress.
- The remainder of the fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence on August 2nd, 1776.
- The Pennsylvania Evening Post printed the Declaration of Independence in the July 6th, 1776, edition of its newspaper after local printer John Dunlap produced copies of the declaration’s manuscript.
- On July 4th, 1778, George Washington ordered a double ration of rum for his soldiers to celebrate the holiday.
- In 1870, The U.S. Congress declared Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1941, Congress declared Independence Day to be a paid federal holiday.
In the decades that followed the first Independence Day, many historically significant events took place on July 4th.
- Two Declaration of Independence signers who also held the office of the president of the United States, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, died on July 4th, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of independence.
- James Monroe, the fifth president, also died on July 4th, 1931, at 73.
- Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, was born on July 4th in 1872.
- The Statue of Liberty was formally presented to the United States by the people of France on July 4th, 1884.
At A.R. Mazzotta, we are proud of both our Connecticut and our United States heritage. As we collectively join in celebrating the birthday of our great nation, we salute the men and women who work hard to provide for their families and offer their skills and talents to employers across the country.
Ready to make a career change? In need of qualified candidates to fill open positions? The A.R. Mazzotta team is at the ready to make great-fit employment connections. Contact us at 860-347-1626.