Debate Magazine

About the 4th

Posted on the 04 July 2013 by Doggone
We celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July,  because that is the supposed date of the completion of the Declaration of Independence.
But it's not!
Oh, it is true that the Declaration carries the DATE of the 4th of July... BUT, that is because THAT is the date on which it was printed, it was placed there by the printer, not the writer and signers of the Declaration.
Just as we are known as the USA - United States of AMERICA; there are a variety of explanations for why our continent is called North America, but one of the most plausible is that it is a corruption of the map maker's name Amerigo (Vespucci).
On this day, I would encourage our readers to embrace history, and to enjoy the video below from 60 minutes, an interview with David McCullough where as a well respected historian he scolds us for being, as a nation, historically illiterate.  This is an observation with which I agree.
Enjoy these insights into our past, especially on our founding fathers, and how it reflects on our present. We shouldn't completely reject our myth and folk lore history about our founding fathers --- but we should be giving far greater importance to learning and appreciating FACTUAL history.
and part 'deux' --- on the 4th, we should be mindful that we did not achieve our independence all on our own; we would have failed, badly, without the help of the French. We should also be mindful that one of our greatest symbols, the Statue of Liberty, was a gift from the French.

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