Fourth is fine to hold national celebration
Taking the cue from John Adams, Americans celebrate independence but not on the date that Adams foresaw.
John Adams got it right when he wrote to his wife Abigail that Independence Day "ought to be solemnized with pomp, shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever." He just got the date wrong -- July 2.
As Adams got right, the Continental Congress did indeed declare American independence on July 2, 1776, with nine colonies voting aye. Two days later, after the declaration had been revised, all 12 colonies represented agreed; New York joined after 15 days, according to historian David Waldstreicher.
John Trumbull also got it wrong when he depicted the signing of the declaration in a painting that now hangs in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. "No such scene, with all the delegates present, ever occurred at Philadelphia," David McCullough noted in his biography of John Adams. Most of the delegates signed the document on Aug. 2, after a clean copy had been produced.
Waldstreicher notes that Congress did not discuss celebrating the new country's anniversary until July 3, 1777, so it took place the next day. After 232 years, it's too late to change the holiday. Anyway, the Second of July just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Oahu Publications, Inc. publishes
the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, MidWeek
and military newspapers
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
David Black, Dan Case, Dennis Francis,
Larry Johnson, Duane Kurisu, Warren Luke,
Colbert Matsumoto, Jeffrey Watanabe, Michael Wo
Editorial Page Editor
(808) 529-4748; email@example.com
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin (USPS 249460) is published daily by Oahu Publications at 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813. Periodicals postage paid at Honolulu, Hawaii. Postmaster: Send address changes to Star-Bulletin, P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96802.