Many years ago I worked a trade show in Atlantic City with a guy from California. If I work with guys from out of town, sometimes, if we have time, I'll take them somewhere touristy if they've never been. I've taken a couple of guys to Air and Space because it's too cool to miss. On this occasion we went somewhere I'd never been: Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

This and Congress Hall next door are, as far as I'm concerned, the coolest historic sites in America. The world changed here.

Congress Hall is where the early Constitutional amendments were ratified. But today it's Independence Hall that matters.

We're so used to thinking of the United States as dominant that it's hard to imagine how dangerous declaring independence was. England was a world power. The colonies were a backwater.

Independence is not what the colonists had in mind when the revolution started the year before. They begged King George to stop the unrepresented taxation. King George just thought they were too rebellious, so they decided the only sensible course of action was independence. But they were a minor backwater opposing the most powerful nation on Earth, and that powerful nation did not view the colonists as a foreign nation but as traitors. When Benjamin Franklin said "We must indeed all hang together or most assuredly we shall all hang separately," he was not exaggerating.

Seeing the room where this took place, the room in the famous painting, looking the same as it did then is almost eerie. You read about this all your life and it took place right here, a risky decision made that changed Everything.

We are not remotely where we want to be, but where we have gotten is miraculous given our origins. What we have is worth improving and protecting. God knows that has recently become more difficult, scarily difficult, but we've dealt with serious challenges before.

That's the reason this holiday exists.

Views: 65

Comment by Ron Powell on July 5, 2017 at 2:08am

Comment by Ron Powell on July 5, 2017 at 2:22am

The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776.

On July 1, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and on the following day 12 of the 13 colonies voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion for independence. The delegates then spent the next two days debating and revising the language of a statement drafted by Thomas Jefferson. On July 4, Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, and as a result the date is celebrated as Independence Day. Nearly a month would go by, however, before the actual signing of the document took place. First, New York’s delegates didn’t officially give their support until July 9 because their home assembly hadn’t yet authorized them to vote in favor of independence. Next, it took two weeks for the Declaration to be “engrossed”—written on parchment in a clear hand. Most of the delegates signed on August 2, but several—Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean and Matthew Thornton—signed on a later date. (Two others, John Dickinson and Robert R. Livingston, never signed at all.) The signed parchment copy now resides at the National Archives in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, alongside the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

Comment by Terry McKenna on July 5, 2017 at 3:18am

Independence Hall was preserved in an earlier era, so most of the surrounding buildings were destroyed.  It is not clear that there was much worth preserving but if you look at Philadelphia's downtown neighborhoods, most are still densely packed - as they would have been when built 2 plus centuries ago. Still wonder what was lost.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on July 5, 2017 at 4:32am

:)

Comment by JMac1949 Today on July 5, 2017 at 5:53am

R&L.  CBS news covered this story about the Fourth and Independence Hall:  

Descendants of the Signers which is the creation of the company Ancestry.com

Pretty cool how many different kinds of Americans have been born out of the Founding Fathers.  We're not quite up to the promise that all men and women are born equal with certain inalienable rights, but we've always been a work in progress.  That the pendulum of history has swung to the right under the reign of the Beast "45" might discourage some of us, but overall, despite the bumps in the road to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, we've made some significant progress along that path.    

Comment by alsoknownas on July 5, 2017 at 6:25am

We can't even get the date right any more.

Comment by Steel Breeze on July 5, 2017 at 6:31am

R&L.....true perspective...

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