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July 4, 2013

independence!  ahhh, how lovely.  but it took a lot of manpower to get us here.  let’s learn about our foundational documents shall we?

  • the u.s. constitution has 4,400 words.  it is the shortest and oldest constitution on the block.
  • the declaration of independence on display in the national archives is a fake.  well…not really.  but it’s not a true original.  the continental congress hired someone to make a copy of the text approved by our founding fathers.  this copy was signed on august 2, 1776.  so we should probably celebrate independence again in august…
  • benjamin franklin was seriously old – 81 years of age and the oldest attendee- and in poor health at the signing of the constitution.  he required the aid of four philadelphia prisoners to carry him by sedan chair to the constitutional convention.  and as tears streamed down his face, he also required assistance in signing his benjamin franklin on the document.
  • the official declaration of independence signing party took place on august 2, 1776.  but there were some late signers: elbridge gerry, oliver wolcott, lewis morris, thomas mckean and matthew thornton.  and have you ever heard of any of them?  lesson: always be early.
  • the word democracy does not appear once in the constitution.  so i guess we’re just kinda goin with the democracy thing for fun?
  • on december 13, 1952 the declaration of independence, constitution and bill of rights were delivered to their plush pad at the national archives.  tourists now jam up the sidewalk along constitution avenue waiting in line to see the trifecta.
  • the constitution has only been changed 17 times since 1791.  but they should have used spell check – pennsylvania is misspelled at the top of the first page.
  • thomas jefferson and john adams both died on july 4, 1826, the 50th celebration of our vote for independence.  nine of the signers of the declaration died before the end of the revolutionary war.  womp womp.
  • good ole george washington and james madison were the only two presidents to sign the constitution.
  • we celebrate constitution day on september 17th.  who’s up for fireworks and grilled burgers in september?

your 4th of july history lesson brought to you by this and other sponsors.  actually, no sponsors, just citing sources.  this is a free and independent venture.  american as ever.

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