When looking at my daily email about events in history on this day, I found out today in 1776, The Second Continential Congress voted to adopt the resolution of Independence from Great Britian.
The resolution was presented by Richard Henry Lee on June 7th, but due to some lingering doubts from some of the colonies, they decided to wait to vote on July 2nd. In the meantime they set a group off the write up a declaration. This group included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and of course Thomas Jefferson. In the end Jefferson was selected to be the primary author (which is why he often gets credit but we don’t often hear about Sherman or Livingston). They managed to present the declaration to Congress on June 28 for review. Not bad, writing a document that will literally change the world in only three weeks.
Since I think most Americans (and probably alot of non-americans) can remember something about Adams Franklin and Jefferson (and not just that two are on our money) I googled the other two.
Roger Sherman is the only man to sign all the starter papers for the US (The Continnental Association (which I just learned about today), The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, and the Consitution. He was greatly involved in the reorganization of the Connneticicut government and worked on developing guidelines for ambassadors, particularly those to Canada. And according to Wikipedia, his Great-great grandson helped create the CIA.
Robert Livingston was the first Secratary of State (then called Secretary of Foriegn Affairs), and later as Ambassador to France. It was then that he helped negociate the Louisana purchase, so a third of the country can thank him for being American and not French. He also developed the first steamboat. He got the honor of swearing George Washington in as President.
On July 1st, Congress, like congress today, choose to debate the issue. Unlike congress now, they unanimously voted for it, with only New York abstaining. John Adams, according to History.com, thought that this would be the day we would celebrate. In the end however, we celebrate the day they actually presented the Declaration to the public, July 4th.
Another key document was also signed today. In 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law The Civil Rights Act. It was something that John F. Kennedy had fought for and that Lyndon Johnson picked up after Kennedy was killed in 1963. Still, I’m not entirely sure how someone uses 75 pens to sign ‘Lyndon B. Johnson’. Even if he spelled out his middle name and the name of the country.
The Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination against race in employment, education, and in public places such as buses, schools, parks, and pools.