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Vocapedia > Time > Day > USA > Independence Day > July 4th, 1776





Steve Breen

Political cartoon


July 04, 2021
















































































‘What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?’:

Descendants Read Frederick Douglass' Speech        NPR        3 July 2020





‘What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?’: Descendants Read Frederick Douglass' Speech        Video        NPR        3 July 2020


The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day

amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms.


In this short film,

five young descendants of Frederick Douglass

read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech,

"What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"

which asks all of us to consider America's

long history of denying equal rights

to Black Americans.


FEATURING (alphabetically)

Douglass Washington Morris II, 20 (he/him)

Isidore Dharma Douglass Skinner, 15 (they/their)

Zoë Douglass Skinner, 12 (she/her)

Alexa Anne Watson, 19 (she/her)

Haley Rose Watson, 17 (she/her)


















Celebrating Independence Day        White House        4 July 2014





Celebrating Independence Day        Video        White House        4 July 2014


In this week's address,

President Obama commemorated Independence Day

by noting the contributions and sacrifices from individuals

throughout the history of this country

-- from our Founding Fathers,

to the men and women in our military

serving at home and abroad.


















July 4, 1776 > Independence Day        USA


celebrate the Fourth of July


anniversary of the Declaration of Independence

















- updated June 29, 2021






















































USA > A history of Fourth of July protests in America – in pictures        UK


‘This Fourth of July is yours, not mine.

You may rejoice, I must mourn,’

Frederick Douglass lamented

13 years before Reconstruction.


Since the 19th century,

abolitionists, suffragists

and civil rights activists

have seized the Fourth of July

as an occasion to protest injustices

sustained by those omitted

from the founding fathers’ vision.


In the 20th century,

the civil rights movement

and Vietnam war

brought to light legacies of slavery,

imperialism and sexism that continue

to challenge the narrative

of ‘life, liberty,

and the pursuit of happiness’.



the potency of Black Lives Matter

has established civil disobedience

as an unwavering American tradition












cartoons > Cagle > Independence Day        2011        USA












Today in History


June 11, 2010
Filed at 1:10 a.m. ET
The New York Times

Today is Friday, June 11, the 162nd day of 2010. There are 203 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History:

On June 11, 1776, the Continental Congress formed a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence calling for freedom from Britain.

On this date:

In 1509, England's King Henry VIII married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

In 1770, Captain James Cook, commander of the British ship Endeavour, discovered the Great Barrier Reef off Australia by running onto it.

In 1910, voters in Oklahoma chose Oklahoma City to be the state's capital over Guthrie (which had been the territorial capital) and Shawnee. French ocean explorer and environmentalist Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born in Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac, France.

In 1919, Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes, becoming horse racing's first Triple Crown winner.

In 1947, the government announced the end of household and institutional sugar rationing, to take effect the next day.

In 1959, the Saunders-Roe Nautical 1, the first operational hovercraft, was publicly demonstrated off the southern coast of England.

In 1963, a Buddhist monk (Thich Quang Duc) set himself afire on a Saigon street to protest the government of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.

In 1970, the United States presence in Libya came to an end as the last detachment left Wheelus Air Base. (The anniversary of this event is celebrated as a holiday in Libya.)

In 1977, Seattle Slew won the Belmont Stakes, capturing the Triple Crown.

In 1985, Karen Ann Quinlan, the comatose patient whose case prompted a historic right-to-die court decision, died in Morris Plains, N.J., at age 31.

Ten years ago: A day after the death of Syrian President Hafez Assad, his son, Bashar, was unanimously nominated by Syria's ruling Baath Party to succeed his father. An unruly group of men doused women with water and groped them in New York's Central Park; some of the assaults were captured on home video. Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil won his second French Open title, beating Magnus Norman 6-2, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (6).

Five years ago: The first tropical storm of the 2005 season, Arlene, sloshed ashore in the Florida Panhandle. The world's richest countries agreed in London to write off more than $40 billion of debt owed by the poorest nations. French journalist Florence Aubenas and her Iraqi assistant were freed after more than five months as hostages in Iraq. Afleet Alex won the Belmont Stakes by seven lengths.

One year ago: With swine flu reported in more than 70 nations, the World Health Organization declared the first global flu pandemic in 41 years. The NCAA placed Alabama's football program and 15 other of the school's athletic teams on three years' probation for major violations due to misuse of free textbooks, stripping the Crimson Tide of 21 football wins over a three-year period.

Today's Birthdays: Opera singer Rise (REE'-suh) Stevens is 97. Actor Gene Wilder is 77. Actor Chad Everett is 73. Comedian Johnny Brown is 73. International Motorsports Hall of Famer Jackie Stewart is 71. Singer Joey Dee is 70. Actress Adrienne Barbeau is 65. Rock musician Frank Beard (ZZ Top) is 61. Animal rights activist and PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk is 61. Rock singer Donnie Van Zant is 58. Actor Peter Bergman is 57. Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Montana is 54. Actor Hugh Laurie (''House, M.D.'') is 51. Singer Gioia (JOY'-ah) Bruno (Expose) is 47. Country singer-songwriter Bruce Robison is 44. Actor Peter Dinklage is 41. Country musician Smilin' Jay McDowell is 41. Rock musician Dan Lavery (Tonic) is 41. Rock musician Tai Anderson (Third Day) is 34. Actor Joshua Jackson is 32. Christian rock musician Ryan Shrout is 30. Actor Shia LaBeouf (SHY'-uh luh-BUF') is 24.

Thought for Today: ''Neither in the life of the individual nor in that of mankind is it desirable to know the future.'' -- Jakob Burckhardt (YAH'-kawb BUHRK'-hart), Swiss historian (1818-1897).

    Today in History, NYT, 11.6.2010,






Jones Reads

Declaration of Independence


July 3, 2007
Filed at 9:23 p.m. ET
The New York Times


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- All men may be created equal, but all voices are not. James Earl Jones read excerpts from the Declaration of Independence in his unmistakable baritone Tuesday, the day before Independence Day.

The reading took place at the National Constitution Center during the unveiling of one of four surviving copies of the Magna Carta. The nearly 800-year-old ''Great Charter,'' which helped inspire the Declaration, is on loan from Great Britain's Lincoln Cathedral. It will be displayed for three weeks beginning Wednesday.

The unveiling was preceded by a children's play that amusingly dramatized the Magna Carta's creation. Jones praised the youngsters as fine actors.

''I can say that, because I should know,'' said Jones, a Tony Award winner. ''You really moved me. I'm really serious.''

Jones, 76, has appeared in more than 200 films, TV shows and theater productions, his voice familiar to many as Darth Vader in the ''Star Wars'' movies and King Mufasa in ''The Lion King.''

It's also heard in commercials for Verizon, which sponsored the Magna Carta exhibit along with the National Education Association.

Besides the Magna Carta, the National Constitution Center also features a signed Emancipation Proclamation and an original printing of the U.S. Constitution.


On the Net:

National Constitution Center:


    Jones Reads Declaration of Independence, NYT, 3.7.2007,






Celebrating July 2

10 Days That Changed History


July 2, 2006

The New York Times



IT'S a badly kept secret among scholars of American history that nothing much really happened on Thursday, July 4, 1776.

Although this date is emblazoned on the Declaration, the Colonies had actually voted for independence two days earlier; the document wasn't signed until a month later. When John Adams predicted that the "great anniversary festival" would be celebrated forever, from one end of the continent to the other, he was talking about July 2.

Indeed, the dates that truly made a difference aren't always the ones we know by heart; frequently, they've languished in dusty oblivion. The 10 days that follow — obscure as some are — changed American history. (In some cases, they are notable for what didn't happen rather than what did.)

This list is quirky rather than comprehensive, and readers may want to continue the parlor game on their own. But while historians may argue endlessly about causes and effects — many even question the idea that any single day can alter the course of human events — these examples show that destiny can turn on a slender pivot, and that history often occurs when nobody is watching.

Anyway, happy Second of July.


JUNE 8, 1610: A Lord's Landfall

Three years after its founding, the Virginia Colony was a failure. A few dozen starving settlers packed some meager possessions and sailed from Jamestown on June 7, headed back toward England. The next morning, to their surprise, they spotted a fleet coming toward them, carrying a new governor, Lord De La Warr, and a year's worth of supplies.

If not for his appearance, Virginia might have gone the way of so many lost colonies. What is now the Southeastern United States could well have ended up in the French or Dutch empires. Tobacco might never have become a cash crop, and the first African slaves would not have arrived in 1619.


OCT. 17, 1777: Victory Along the Hudson

If one date should truly get credit for securing America's independence, it is when the British general John Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga.

The battle's significance was more diplomatic than military: shortly after news reached Paris, the French king decided to enter the war on the American side. "If the French alliance and funding hadn't come through at that moment, it's hard to say how much longer we could have held out," says Stacy Schiff, author of "A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America." The American Revolution might have gone down in history as a brief provincial uprising, and the Declaration of Independence as a nice idea.


JUNE 20, 1790: Jefferson's Dinner Party

On this evening, Thomas Jefferson invited Alexander Hamilton and James Madison to dinner at his rented house on Maiden Lane in Lower Manhattan. In the course of the night, Jefferson recalled, they brokered one of the great political deals in American history. Under the terms of the arrangement, the national capital would be situated on the Potomac, and the federal government would agree to take on the enormous war debts of the 13 states.

Had that meal never taken place, New York might still be the nation's capital. But even more important, the primacy of the central government might never have been established, says Ron Chernow, the Hamilton biographer. "The assumption of state debts was the most powerful bonding mechanism of the new Union," he says. "Without it, we would have had a far more decentralized federal system."


APRIL 19, 1802: Mosquitos Win the West

Events that change America don't always occur within our borders. Consider the spring of 1802. Napoleon had sent a formidable army under his brother-in-law, General Charles Leclerc, to quell the rebellion of former slaves in Haiti.

On April 19, Leclerc reported to Napoleon that the rainy season had arrived, and his troops were falling ill. By the end of the year, almost the whole French force, including Leclerc himself, were dead of mosquito-borne yellow fever.

When Napoleon realized his reconquest had failed, he abandoned hopes of a New World empire, and decided to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States.

"Across a huge section of the American heartland, from New Orleans up through Montana, they ought to build statues to Toussaint L'Ouverture and the other heroes of the Haitian Revolution," says Ted Widmer, director of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.


JAN. 12, 1848: An Ill-Advised Speech

His timing couldn't have been worse: With the Mexican War almost won, a freshman congressman rose to deliver a blistering attack on President Polk and his "half-insane" aggressive militarism. Almost from the moment he sat down again, the political career of Representative Abraham Lincoln seemed doomed by the antiwar stand he had taken just when most Americans were preparing their victory celebrations.

Yet that speech saved Lincoln. "It cast him into the political wilderness," says Joshua Wolf Shenk, the author of "Lincoln's Melancholy." This insulated him during the politically treacherous years of the early 1850's — when Americans divided bitterly over slavery — and positioned him to emerge as a national leader on the eve of the Civil War. Lincoln's early faux pas also taught him to be a pragmatist, not just a moralist. "If he had been successful in the 1840's, the Lincoln of history — the Lincoln who saved the Union — would never have existed," Mr. Shenk says.


APRIL 16, 1902: The Movies

Motion pictures seemed destined to become a passing fad. Only a few years after Edison's first crude newsreels were screened — mostly in penny arcades, alongside carnival games and other cheap attractions, the novelty had worn off, and Americans were flocking back to live vaudeville.

Then, in spring 1902, Thomas L. Tally opened his Electric Theater in Los Angeles, a radical new venture devoted to movies and other high-tech devices of the era, like audio recordings.

"Tally was the first person to offer a modern multimedia entertainment experience to the American public," says the film historian Marc Wanamaker. Before long, his successful movie palace produced imitators nationally, which would become known as "nickelodeons." America's love affair with the moving image — from the silver screen to YouTube — would endure after all.


FEB. 15, 1933: The Wobbly Chair

It should have been an easy shot: five rounds at 25 feet. But the gunman, Giuseppe Zangara, an anarchist, lost his balance atop a wobbly chair, and instead of hitting President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, he fatally wounded the mayor of Chicago, who was shaking hands with F.D.R.

Had Roosevelt been assassinated, his conservative Texas running mate, John Nance Garner, would most likely have come to power. "The New Deal, the move toward internationalism — these would never have happened," says Alan Brinkley of Columbia University. "It would have changed the history of the world in the 20th century. I don't think the Kennedy assassination changed things as much as Roosevelt's would have."


MARCH 2, 1955: Almost a Heroine

When a brave young African-American woman was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, local and national civil rights leaders rallied to her cause. Claudette Colvin, 15, seemed poised to become an icon of the struggle against segregation. But then, shortly after her March 2 arrest, she became pregnant. The movement's leaders decided that an unwed teenage mother would not make a suitable symbol, so they pursued a legal case with another volunteer: Rosa Parks.

That switch, says the historian Douglas Brinkley, created a delay that allowed Martin Luther King Jr. to emerge as a leader. He most likely would not have led the bus boycott if it had occurred in the spring instead of the following winter. "He might have ended up as just another Montgomery preacher," Professor Brinkley says.


SEPT. 18, 1957: Revolt of the Nerds

Fed up with their boss, eight lab workers walked off the job on this day in Mountain View, Calif. Their employer, William Shockley, had decided not to continue research into silicon-based semiconductors; frustrated, they decided to undertake the work on their own. The researchers — who would become known as "the traitorous eight" — went on to invent the microprocessor (and to found Intel, among other companies). "Sept. 18 was the birth date of Silicon Valley, of the electronics industry and of the entire digital age," says Mr. Shockley's biographer, Joel Shurkin.


AUG. 20, 1998: Just Missed

With most Americans absorbed by the Monica Lewinsky affair, relatively few paid much attention when the United States fired some 60 cruise missiles at Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. Most public debate centered on whether President Clinton had ordered the strike to deflect attention from his domestic troubles.

Although the details of that day remain in dispute, some accounts suggest that the attack may have missed killing Osama bin Laden by as little as an hour. How that would have changed America — and the world — may be revealed, in time, by the history that is still unfolding.

Adam Goodheart is director of the C.V. Starr Center

for the Study of the American Experience

at Washington College.

10 Days That Changed History,










Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia


day / night



day > state holiday > USA

Juneteenth / 19 June 1865

enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas,

were told they were free



day > USA > Thanksgiving > Black Friday, Cyber Monday



day > USA > Thanksgiving day









Related > Anglonautes > History


17th, 18th, 19th century

English America, America, USA






Related > Anglonautes > History > Documents




The Declaration of Independence - July 4, 1776








Library of Congress > Today in History        USA





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