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“We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore!”

 

by Glenn Shepard
July 4, 2017
Category: Patriotism

   

 


 

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Did You Know?

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, on the 50th anniversary of the country they helped found.
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Are you off work today?

Most Americans are.

But if you have to work today and aren’t happy about it, I want to share the story of some other folks who had to work on the 4th.

It was 243 years ago that the thirteen original colonies were getting really fed up with being treated like second class citizens. They were being taxed to death, but weren’t given a voice in Parliament (England’s version of Congress).

In 1774 they decided they weren’t going to take it anymore and would no longer import anything from England, but few ever dreamed of actually becoming a new country.

By the next year, the situation had gone from bad to worse.

The second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and slowly warmed up to the idea of leaving England in their rear view mirror, but these guys were young and still uncertain.

On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia called for everyone to go for it.

Four days later, a committee was formed to create the document that would tell the King of England to take a hike. That committee incuded Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston.

The document was 1350 words, which included 27 bullet points of how England had wronged the colonists. They were so angry with the King that 17 of the bullet points began with “He has…” (Talk about being burned on a performance evaluation!)

Keep in mind that they didn’t have much time to get this done, and were doing it without Microsoft Word.

Even though Jefferson was an eloquent writer, 86 changes were made to his draft. The final version that we know as the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4.

The importance of this historical document was illustrated in my favorite movie, “National Treasure”. In the most poignant scene, Nicholas Cage stands in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol where the Declaration is on display, reading part of it to his colleague. His colleague didn’t understand it, so Cage paraphrased it like this:

“It means if there’s something wrong, those who have the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action."

Fortunately for all Americans today, a small group of very courageous men with incredible vision did exactly that, 234 years ago today.

Happy 4th of July,

  


Glenn Shepard

A Proud American

P.S.
For those too young to know, the title of this article was the name of a song by Twisted Sister.


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