Happy 4th of July! Today we celebrate the 241st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. While the Declaration was released more than a year after the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the 1776 document is viewed as a formal explanation of why Congress had voted to declare independence from Great Britain.
The Declaration was actually passed on July 2 with no opposing vote cast, but it wasn’t officially approved until July 4. That’s why we celebrate Independence Day on July 4.
The Declaration of Independence was originally released in a variety of forms, including at least 200 of the so-called “Dunlap broadsides,” named after printer John Dunlap of Philadelphia. According to the Contemporary Broadside Editions of the Declaration of Independence, Dunlap’s broadsides were distributed throughout the thirteen states and where they later issued their own copies to the new American citizens.
Commemorate the Declaration of Independence today with these quotes about freedom:
1. “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” – Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States
2. “It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I’m not naive, and I don’t romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job.” – Chris Kyle, United States Navy SEAL and the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history
3. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” – Thomas Jefferson, American Founding Father and 3rd President of the United States
4. “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain, American author
5. “I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United State
6. “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” – Edward Abbey, American author and essayist
7. “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” – Patrick Henry, American attorney, planter and politician
8. “I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” – James Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic
9. “All wars are civil wars because all men are brothers… Each one owes infinitely more to the human race than to the particular country in which he was born.” – François Fénelon, French Roman Catholic archbishop, theologian, poet and writer
10. “In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.” – Barack Obama, 44th and current President of the United States