The Declaration that gave birth to a nation

Patrick Fisher,

This coming Monday is the Fourth of July. A time for gatherings, parades, picnics and fireworks. It is a celebration of when the United States declared its independence from the United Kingdom.

The Declaration of Independence was a document that basically said a people of a nation had a right to choose their leaders. Before that, most nations had been ruled by a king, queen or emperor. The idea put forth by a group of men in Philadelphia that the common people would get to choose their representatives and their president had not really been seen.

A five-man committee made up of Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York were chosen by the Continental Congress to write the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson penned most of the document. There were some changes to it by the Continental Congress, but the preamble remained mostly untouched. It reads, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Continental Congress approved the document on July 4, 1776.

More than 200 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it is still a document at the center of our nation, especially the preamble.

No matter how you celebrate this coming Monday, may it be a good day and a safe one. From the staff at The New Prague Times have a Happy Fourth of July!



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