“Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to free and independent States and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law.

The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repose. If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American legislators of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens.” — Richard Henry Lee-July 2, 1776

Tuesday, July 2nd, marks the 248th anniversary of a momentous event-the Continental Congress’s vote to secede from the British Crown. This vote, which took place on July 2nd, is the true Independence Day of America, a day that should be revered.  

The Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4. But two days earlier, on July 2, the Continental Congress passed the resolution submitted by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia,

July 2nd 1776

The resolution was initially presented to Congress on June 7, but New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and South Carolina weren’t ready to break with England. So they tabled the action until July 1 to allow time for all states to be convinced.

In the meantime, Congress appointed a committee to write a formal declaration of independence. Its members were John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Jefferson, the best writer in the group, was the document’s primary author. Jefferson’s document read like a mission statement for the revolution and set up how this nation would be different from others—the people’s rights don’t come from the government. They come from God. The document was first presented to Congress for review on June 28, 1776.

On July 2, twelve of the thirteen colonies approved Richard Henry Lee’s resolution of independence. Delegates from New York still lacked instructions from the legislature to vote for independence, so they abstained.

. Even back then, the NY State legislature was a joke.

With their yes votes, the members of the Continental Congress demonstrated unparalleled courage, becoming traitors to Great Britain and wanted criminals. This is why Ben Franklyn uttered his famous line, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” Their bravery is a testament to the spirit of the American Revolution.

After voting for independence on July 2, Congress turned its attention to finalizing the declaration. Over several days of debate, Congress made some alterations to the text, including adding the wording of Lee’s resolution of independence to the conclusion. The text of the declaration was approved by Congress on July 4 and sent off to be printed.

The day after the Lee resolution was passed, on July 3, John Adams wrote his wife, Abigail, about the significant occurrence of the day before. He said that July 2 would be a major holiday.

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

But as he was during much of his political career, John Adams couldn’t get support. From the outset, Americans celebrated Independence Day on July 4, the date the much-publicized Declaration of Independence was approved, rather than on July 2, the day the resolution of independence was adopted in a closed session of Congress.

On July 2nd The Pennsylvania Evening Post published;

On July 4th The Pennsylvania Evening Post published the entire Declaration of Independence on their front page.

Four days later, on July 8, 1776, Colonel John Nixon of Philadelphia read a printed Declaration of Independence to the public for the first time on what is now called Independence Square. Along with July 4th my family has a celebration every July 8th.

Life is not a musical, so Richard Henry Lee did not go off to get his instructions singing like he did in the musical 1776.the sad part is  most people don’t know that if Lee did not gain approval from the largest Colony, Virginia, we would not have been able to declare independence 248 years ago.

When telling the story of our independence, we hear about Adams, Jefferson, and Franklin, etc., but Lee went back to the Virginia legislature sold them on independence. He came back and introduced the resolution for the 13 colonies’ independence.without the approval of the largest state Virginia, we would not have been able to celebrate our independence on the wrong day for the past 248 years