July 8, 1776
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
On Monday, July 8, 1776, Colonel John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence to an assemblage of citizens in Philadelphia’s Independence Square. Bells rang and bands played to celebrate this historic event. One-year later, on July 4, 1777, Philadelphia marked the day with Congress adjourning and celebrating with bonfires, bells, and fireworks. Thus began our Independence Day Celebrations.
On the 50th anniversary, Thomas Jefferson sent a letter to Roger C. Weightman, declining an invitation to come to Washington, DC to help with the celebration. Jefferson was in poor health and in this last letter ever penned he wrote, “For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights and an undiminished devotion to them.”
Jefferson passed away on July 4th of the same year.
Directly adjacent to the north entrance of the White House sits Lafayette Square. The Square is named after Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat and hero of the American Revolutionary War. At the conclusion of the war, Lafayette said it so well, “Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.”
Ronald Reagan, our 40th president, gave us this truth, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
As we approach Independence Day 2019, let’s take the time to reflect on the great freedom and opportunity that we have in these United States of America. Let’s never forget the great price paid for our freedom. How will you celebrate Independence Day this year? What advice and encouragement will you share with your friends and family this year? I plan on reading the Declaration of Independence with my family on the 4th.
Please join Marisa and me on The Next Page as we share some historical tidbits and some of our favorite memories of July 4th celebrations.