1. The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776.
On July 1, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and on the following day 12 of the 13 colonies voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion for independence. The delegates then spent the next two days debating and revising the language of a statement drafted by Thomas Jefferson. On July 4, Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, and as a result the date is celebrated as Independence Day. Nearly a month would go by, however, before the actual signing of the document took place. First, New York’s delegates didn’t officially give their support until July 9 because their home assembly hadn’t yet authorized them to vote in favor of independence. Next, it took two weeks for the Declaration to be “engrossed”—written on parchment in a clear hand. Most of the delegates signed on August 2, but several—Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean and Matthew Thornton—signed on a later date. (Two others, John Dickinson and Robert R. Livingston, never signed at all.) The signed parchment copy now resides at the National Archives in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, alongside the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
2. More than one copy exists.
After the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the “Committee of Five”—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston—was charged with overseeing the reproduction of the approved text. This was completed at the shop of Philadelphia printer John Dunlap. On July 5, Dunlap’s copies were dispatched across the 13 colonies to newspapers, local officials and the commanders of the Continental troops. These rare documents, known as “Dunlap broadsides,” predate the engrossed version signed by the delegates. Of the hundreds thought to have been printed on the night of July 4, only 26 copies survive. Most are held in museum and library collections, but three are privately owned.
3. When news of the Declaration of Independence reached New York City, it started a riot.
By July 9, 1776, a copy of the Declaration of Independence had reached New York City. With hundreds of British naval ships occupying New York Harbor, revolutionary spirit and military tensions were running high. George Washington, commander of the Continental forces in New York, read the document aloud in front of City Hall. A raucous crowd cheered the inspiring words, and later that day tore down a nearby statue of George III. The statue was subsequently melted down and shaped into more than 42,000 musket balls for the fledgling American army.
4. Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Britain.
While the majority of the members of the Second Continental Congress were native-born Americans, eight of the men voting for independence from Britain were born there. Gwinnett Button and Robert Morris were born in England, Francis Lewis was born in Wales, James Wilson and John Witherspoon were born in Scotland, George Taylor and Matthew Thornton were born in Ireland and James Smith hailed from Northern Ireland.
5. One signer later recanted.
Richard Stockton, a lawyer from Princeton, New Jersey, became the only signer of the Declaration of Independence to recant his support of the revolution. On November 30, 1776, the hapless delegate was captured by the British and thrown in jail. After months of harsh treatment and meager rations, Stockton repudiated his signature on the Declaration of Independence and swore his allegiance to King George III. A broken man when he regained his freedom, he took a new oath of loyalty to the state of New Jersey in December 1777.
6. There was a 44-year age difference between the youngest and oldest signers.
The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin, 70 years old when he scrawled his name on the parchment. The youngest was Edward Rutledge, a lawyer from South Carolina who was only 26 at the time. Rutledge narrowly beat out fellow South Carolinian Thomas Lynch Jr., just four months his senior, for the title.
7. Two additional copies have been found in the last 25 years.
In 1989, a Philadelphia man found an original Dunlap Broadside hidden in the back of a picture frame he bought at a flea market for $4. One of the few surviving copies from the official first printing of the Declaration, it was in excellent condition and sold for $8.1 million in 2000. A 26th known Dunlap broadside emerged at the British National Archives in 2009, hidden for centuries in a box of papers captured from American colonists during the Revolutionary War. One of three Dunlap broadsides at the National Archives, the copy remains there to this day.
8. The Declaration of Independence spent World War II in Fort Knox.
On December 23, 1941, just over two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the signed Declaration, together with the Constitution, was removed from public display and prepared for evacuation out of Washington, D.C. Under the supervision of armed guards, the founding document was packed in a specially designed container, latched with padlocks, sealed with lead and placed in a larger box. All told, 150 pounds of protective gear surrounded the parchment. On December 26 and 27, accompanied by Secret Service agents, it traveled by train to Louisville, Kentucky, where a cavalry troop of the 13th Armored Division escorted it to Fort Knox. The Declaration was returned to Washington, D.C., in 1944.
9. There is something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence.
In the movie “National Treasure,” Nicholas Cage’s character claims that the back of the Declaration contains a treasure map with encrypted instructions from the founding fathers, written in invisible ink. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is, however, a simpler message, written upside-down across the bottom of the signed document: “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.” No one knows who exactly wrote this or when, but during the Revolutionary War years the parchment was frequently rolled up for transport. It’s thought that the text was added as a label.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard.
• NY-22: On Tuesday, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi became the second Democrat to join the race against first-term Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney in this upstate New York seat, which contains Utica and Binghamton. Brindisi has represented Utica in New York’s Assembly since a 2011 special election victory, and he is reportedly the strong preference of both state and national Democrats.
The assemblyman is known as a moderate, which could prove to be a key asset with swing voters in this historically Republican region. However, his “A” rating from the NRA is unlikely to please progressive Democratic primary voters, but so far Brindisi only faces little-known SUNY Binghamton computer science professor Patrick Madden in the primary, whose campaign has yet to gain traction.
Obama lost New York’s 22nd Congressional District by mere fractions of a percentage point in both 2012 and 2008, but this disproportionately white working-class seat veered rightward to a 55-39 Trump win. However, Tenney prevailed just 46-41 in a heavily contested three-way race last year that featured a self-funding independent who pledged to caucus with the GOP.
Brindisi sits in one of the reddest Assembly seats held by a Democrat, and his district moved further to the right last year, lunging from 51-47 Obama to 54-41 Trump in 2016. However, he’s nonetheless won re-election unopposed every year since 2012, suggesting his crossover appeal has helped deter strong GOP challengers. The 22nd will likely be a tough seat for Democrats to flip, but Tenney’s hard-right image and her support for Trumpcare could give Team Blue an opening.
One major wildcard for 2018, though, is wealthy former Rep. Richard Hanna. As one of the least-conservative House Republicans, Hanna nearly lost the 2014 to primary to Tenney and avoided what would have been a tough rematch by retiring last year. Hanna recently said he was considering challenging his successor as an independent next year, which could help Democrats by stealing away center-right voters from Tenney—something that appears to have happened in 2016 when Martin Babinec took 12 percent of the vote as an independent. However, after Hanna endorsed Hillary Clinton, he might just as easily take more from Democratic voters if he runs, but there’s no indication of how likely he is to get in.
• AL-Sen: Appointed Republican Sen. Luther Strange’s latest ad on immigration continues to throw red meat to the base ahead of the Aug. 15Senate special election primary. The spot features a clip of Trump chanting “build that wall” before segueing to argue how “Big Luther” Strange supports Trump’s agenda. (Strange earned the creative nickname thanks to his 6’9” frame.) Strange says he wants to defund “liberal sanctuary cities” in order to pay for the Mexico border wall, boasts of how he “sued and stopped Obama’s illegal amnesty play,” and closes by urging the deportation of non-citizen immigrants involved in violent crimes.
But while Strange forges ahead, Politico’s Alex Isenstadt reports that all is not well in the land of the GOP national party organizations. He relays that both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Strange have requested that Trump approve RNC spending in Alabama’s primary, but have so far been frustrated with the lack of a response. Two McConnell-aligned super PACs have already devoted $2.4 million to the race, though, and Democrats certainly won’t be displeased that Senate Republicans are spending resources in a dark-red state that could have otherwise gone toward targeting Democratic incumbents in general elections elsewhere.
• IN-Sen: Republican state Sen. Mike Delph previously hadn’t ruled out running against Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, and a recent Howey Politics newsletter finds Delph considering a campaign with piqued interest. Delph, who hails from the True Conservative™ wing of the GOP, previously deferred to other candidates in both the 2012 and 2016 Senate races, ostensibly to prevent a split in the hard-right vote. However, he says he’s already met with the NRSC and true-believer groups like the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund about a possible campaign next year. Delph stated that his decision “won’t be a long, drawn-out process. Going into the fall, we’ll know what we’re going to do.”
If he runs, Delph will likely compete in the primary with Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, who have both previously said they’re considering the race and both look very much like candidates in all but name. Meanwhile, state Rep. Mike Braun is also considering it, while a few lesser-known Republican candidates are already formally in the running.
• MT-Sen: Yellowstone County District Judge Russell Fagg recently decided to retire from the bench this coming October to start his own law practice, but he had also said he was open to running for office. On Tuesday, Fagg confirmed that the particular office was the Senate, after he formed an exploratory committee for a bid against Democratic incumbent Jon Tester. Fagg stressed that he still won’t resign until the fall, which means we likely won’t get an official announcement of a Senate campaign until then, lest Fagg run afoul of state ethics laws that prevent a sitting judge from participating in a campaign.
Fagg has served as a judge for over two decades and was previously a Republican state legislator before that, so he could have some pull in a Republican primary. (Previously, he’d appeared interested in the GOP nomination in Montana’s May House special election, but ultimately didn’t run.) If Fagg does indeed join the Senate race, he would face businessman Troy Downing, state Sen. Albert Olszewski, and a few lesser-known candidates in the Republican primary. However, some top Montana and national Republicans have reportedly still been looking for a more prominent challenger against Tester, and it’s unclear if Fagg is whom they have in mind.
• NV-Sen: Republican Sen. Dean Heller is likely the country’s most vulnerable GOP incumbent facing re-election in 2018 by virtue of being the only one whose state voted for Hillary Clinton, and a new PPP survey for Planned Parenthood finds Heller could indeed lose his seat next year. PPP’s poll, the first publicly released survey of the race, shows Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen beating Heller 42-41, while the incumbent sports an underwater approval rating of just 35 percent and a disapproval rating of 44 percent. Rosen has yet to formally launch her candidacy, but news outlets widely reported last week that she’s expected to do so soon with the support of key national Democrats.
As we always note, any lone poll must be interpreted with caution. However, given the historical tendency for the party in control of the White House to suffer downballot losses in midterm elections, no Republican incumbent wants to find himself already stuck in the low 40s and trailing his prospective opponent over a year ahead of the election in a state Clinton carried 48-46.
Heller could also be facing blowback from the congressional GOP’s healthcare repeal bill, which PPP says Nevada voters oppose 55-31. While Heller recently made waves when he came out against the bill—although with the hugely important caveat of “in this form”—that personal opposition might not be enough to overcome his party’s association with the unpopular measure, which could cost many Nevadans their health insurance.
Nevada’s unique ballot system could also put Heller between a rock and a hard place vis-a-vis swing voters and the hard right, since the Silver State lets voters choose “none of these candidates” as an option. If Heller’s opposition helps sink Trumpcare, angry Trump diehards might opt to vote none of the above in protest, allowing Democrats to prevail with a plurality. That would be a bitter twist of irony for Heller after he only won his initial election by 46-45 in 2012 against a Democrat who faced attacks over ethics troubles, with “none” taking 5 percent.
• NY-Gov: GOP state Sen. John DeFrancisco, who is the Senate’s deputy majority leader, had previously refused to rule out running for governor next year, and he now says he’s “seriously considering” it. Republicans face daunting obstacles in this dark-blue state next year with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo likely to seek a third term, but a few others have nonetheless also expressed interested in possible campaigns, including Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro; ex-hedge fund manager Harry Wilson, who narrowly lost the 2010 state comptroller’s race; and wealthy businessman Carl Paladino, whom Cuomo trounced in the 2010 gubernatorial race.
• IL-12: Following a recent New York Times story that reported he was likely to run for Illinois’ 12th Congressional District next year, Democrat Brendan Kelly, the state’s attorney for St. Clair County, confirmed that he’s “strongly considering” a bid on Monday. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the DCCC itself has been recruiting Kelly to run. St. Clair is by far the largest county in this greater St. Louis-area district, making up roughly 38 percent of its population, which could give Kelly a solid base of support.
While Team Blue had drawn this longtime Democratic seat to favor themselves during 2011 redistricting, it lurched from 50-48 Obama to 55-40 Trump as Republican Rep. Mike Bost won his second term by a 54-40 margin against a decently funded Democratic foe last year. It’s unclear just how fruitful of a target this disproportionately white and working-class seat will be for Democrats in 2018, but a potential Kelly candidacy and Bost’s support for Trumpcare could give the party an opening with wayward Obama-Trump voters here.
• VA-10: The Washington Post reports that two more candidates recently joined Team Blue’s crowded primary to take on Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock next year. The first candidate, Alison Kiehl Friedman, worked at the State Department from 2009 to 2015 to combat human trafficking and previously served as a staffer to ex-Rep. Jane Harman. The second Democrat, Deep Sran, is the son of Indian immigrants who holds a doctorate in educational psychology and is the founder of the local Loudoun School for the Gifted. Both appear to be first-time candidates.
Comstock won a fiercely contested race 53-47 last year even as her suburban D.C. seat swung from 50-49 Romney to 52-42 Clinton. However, as one of the country’s most highly college-educated districts, the 10th is fertile territory for resistance to Trump next year. In addition to Friedman and Sran, the Democratic field includes state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, who was reportedly recruited by the DCCC and EMILY’s List; former Veterans Administration official Lindsey Davis Stover; former Fairfax teachers union president Kimberly Adams; former Naval intelligence officer David Hanson; and Army veteran Daniel Helmer.
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first posted in 2015
Today, 750 million people in the world live without access to clean water. Now, they say 663 million live with access to clean water and 2.4 billion live without improved sanitation. We all have to know one without the other equals illness disease and death. This crisis disproportionately affects women, who walk a combined 200 million hours a day to collect water for their families. Stella Artois is supporting Water.org to help solve the global water crisis. Learn how you can help at http://BuyALadyADrink.com
Now, in the year 2017, they say 663 million live with access to clean water and 2.4 billion live without improved sanitation. We all have to know one without the other equals illness disease and death.
Have you started reclaiming, reusing, recycling, repurposing and or reducing items from your life that will cut the amount of material going into landfills or buying locally to hopefully reduce your eco-footprint as well? I’m in; even PBO alluded to a big change being needed for the next generation.
Now, well, lets say again we all need to worry about the fishing in our oceans, lakes and seas which sadly is on a path toward collapse as overfishing, polluters. plastics and the corporate fishing industry need a refresher on regulatory rules least we remind them to protect our wild and marine life for the next generation
yep, It’s a rant
Unfortunately, Congress, is under Republican control in both chambers, the House, where legislative purse strings are under stress and if you listen closely, they sound like they had different school books, syllabus and teachers, so, the path
to a sustainable 21st Century living was is going to be a struggle.
Though after NAFTA the struggle for American workers was bad it also made most us all rely on goods made in foreign lands with questionable ingredients and on the cheap; I for one have looked at my clothes and sighed after finding brands that once sold mostly “made in the USA” went to the dark side. I guess cheap really is not only addictive, cheap labor and cheap material affects and effects the quality of our lives
and are quite Addictive, but the question is – will authorities at the top recognize that NAFTA needs reforming due to an increase of carbon foot-print, allowing foreign companies to possibly use toxic chemicals, use less than 100% organic and in some cases, let our children play with toys made with excessive amounts of lead pass through to the consumer…uh, that would be a yes! We need a quick acceptance an apology and a big change implemented in every state regulating not just what comes into the US of A, but how, what is dumped, recycled and where; it makes sense on so many levels given what we now know about pollution, climate change, landfills and the effects on Americans …and our at risk population, whether folks want to admit it or not a reality check is needed.
Washington State, along with a few others decided they are all in on banning plastic bags though the effort needs to be much more vigorous as cooperation from big corporations who do not always implement the process fast enough, but we have to start somewhere right.
However, it is obvious that as those at the top debate and delay changes in our man-made and natural global warming experiences, they are leaving minorities and the poor out of the conversation of sustainable living, let alone offer up alternatives or commit to viable restorations of communities most impacted by bad urban planning. We have all heard or know that certain populations are definitely unable to control the negative impact that some big corporations are having on their communities or environments as more and more cases are revealed, aired and reported. It is disturbing to know that some cases are over twenty – thirty years old or older, the sad truth that there were are too many middle class, minority and poor communities built on or near freeways, landfills, gas lines, ex-chemical plants, manufacturer plants or smokestacks with dirty air while providing jobs at those same facilities though the people had no idea that they and the lives of their families could be negatively affected and life in some cases probably cut short. The abuse of land in rural and or urban settings is not just offensive it is still unchecked and just one more thing the EPA needs to revisit.
The idea of sustainable living is not new, yet, it means something different depending on what State you live in and how your officials deal with the agencies we are supposed to trust whether the issue is about fracking, housing,ground water, GMO ,salmonella etc. or bird flu. Most people I know love all kinds of food and are careful about at home preparation, but I do believe that the way food is inspected, accepted and processed is still suspect and an update in federal laws regarding food inspection are overdue. I hope we all agree that our food should not be considered a state’s rights issue; it is a keep the American population safe& healthy issue. I come from a fishing based family that believed in staying away from so-called store freshly caught and to always smell the fish, ask if wild or hatchery and if it’s wrapped in plastic question it all because it may look like the real deal but … I will admit I remember when most if not all seafood caught, was “bought and sold fresh” and or” wild” but not farmed because my family preferred to buy at the market or buy at the pier, but mostly from my family fishing for it. When farm fisheries started popping up my family felt it might be a good way to keep wild off the endangered list, but unfortunately some collateral damage was created when some reports of nasty toxic developments at some not all farmed hatcheries were found .
folks did not know in the early stages the influx of farmed fish to grocery stores and restaurants meant insufficient labeling or the profound lack of available information for consumers to make independent and or intelligent decisions by leaving out info whether it’s about fish, beef, chicken, clothes or toys they are selling comes from the most “environmentally friendly” way possible instead of taking risks that could hurt lives