2nd of July

By | Jul 2, 2010

It may not be remembered as the most important day of 1776, but it probably should be. Of course those who have read 6 Things Consider know my opinion on the importance of the date.

It was on the 2nd of July that the Continental Congress voted for Independence from their home county of England. The 4th of July is simply the day that the Declaration to the English King, George III, was approved.

There are a few common beliefs about America’s Independence that are not quite accurate. The date of Independence is just one of them. Another is that on July 4, 1776 after the vote for Independence was made that the members of Congress signed the document. There wasn’t a document to sign, other than the copy that the Secretary, Charles Thomson, had made the changes and additions that had been made during he debates.

The signing was done as an after though and was done on August 2, 1776. Since the members of the congress changed regularly due to appointment by their representative States, there were signers of the Declaration of Independence who was not even in attendance of July 4th.

Some of this stems from a misinterpret of the famous painting by John Trumbull. It has been commonly called the “Signing of the Declaration” when in reality it shows the presentation of the Declaration of Independence to the President of the Congress, John Hancock, by the five man committee, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston, that had been tasked with its drafting. This presentation was made on June, 28, 1776.

Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence is a 12-by-18-foot oil-on-canvas painting that was commissioned in 1817 and was placed in the United States Capitol Rotunda, where it still resides, in 1826.


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