"The American and French Revolutions are linked in history largely because of chronology, but they were vastly different affairs," writes David R. Stokes in a column for TownHall.com. "One led to a new birth of freedom - the other to terror and tyranny, becoming the prototype for unspeakable horrors to come."
To read more, go to...
David R. Stokes is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Shooting Salvationist. He's also an ordained minister, a broadcaster, and a commentator based in Northern Virginia. And, as my friend and former pastor, he's been something of a spiritual and professional mentor to me personally. And in this article, he articulates quite well the key differences between the two Revolutions in July, and why we as Americans should be forever grateful for the legacy of our Founders.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
July 2 -- 238th Anniversary of Most Important Congressional Vote and a False Prediction by John Adams
|John Adams: wrong about July 2|
It was not to be. The American people chose to celebrate the Fourth of July (rather than the Second of July) as the "great anniversary Festival," thanks in large part to the power of the pen. While the Congress formally voted for independence on the Second of July in 1776, it wasn't until two days later that they officially declared the reasons for their independence to the world. They did so, of course, in the form of the Declaration of Independence, authored primarily by Thomas Jefferson. The anniversary of the approval of the Declaration of Independence became "the great anniversary Festival" Adams spoke of, only it was to be celebrated on the Fourth and not the Second.
This turned out to be somewhat of a source of envy for Mr. Adams. When future generations remembered the most significant action of the Second Continental Congress, they would think of Thomas Jefferson thanks to the eloquence of Mr. Jefferson's pen and not John Adams, who probably did more than any other congressional delegate to secure unanimous approval of America's independence.
Fortunately, Adams is remembered for the second most important vote Congress took, that being the selection of George Washington to be the commander of the newly formed Continental Army. That vote was taken in June 1775, and it was that masterstroke which united North and South against Great Britain and gave command of the army to a man they could all trust.
Even though Americans may think of Jefferson in connection with the Fourth of July before they think of Adams, few can dispute the immense role John Adams played in the birth and success of the United States of America.
**To read more about the contributions of John Adams, check out David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize winning John Adams and also his outstanding narrative history of 1776.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
YORKTOWN, Va., July 1, 2014 – A rare newspaper printing of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, a precursor of the United States Declaration of Independence, has been acquired for the future American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, replacing the Yorktown Victory Center by late 2016. The June 12, 1776, issue of The Pennsylvania Gazette containing the Virginia Declaration will be exhibited in the new museum galleries near a July 1776 broadside of the U.S. Declaration of Independence that currently is on exhibit at the Yorktown Victory Center.
It was the June 12, 1776, Pennsylvania Gazette version of the Virginia Declaration that was available to Thomas Jefferson and the other delegates selected by Congress to draft the U.S. Declaration of Independence, a task they began in Philadelphia on June 11, 1776. Expressing principles that citizens have the right to “enjoyment of life and liberty … and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety,” and that “all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people,” the Virginia Declaration of Rights directly influenced the composition of the Declaration of Independence adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, and many later statements of basic human rights.
The Virginia Declaration of Rights was an outcome of a resolution passed by the Virginia Convention on May 15, 1776, appointing a committee to prepare a declaration of rights and plan of government and instructing Virginia’s delegation to the Continental Congress “to propose to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent states.” A draft of the Virginia Declaration, whose principal author was George Mason, first appeared in The Virginia Gazette on June 1, 1776. It subsequently appeared in newspapers outside Virginia, including The Pennsylvania Gazette on June 12, coincidentally the same date as a modified version of the declaration was adopted by the Virginia Convention.
The Pennsylvania Gazette, founded in 1728, was one of America’s most prominent newspapers during the 18th century and for a time was published by Benjamin Franklin. The June 12, 1776, issue containing the text of the Virginia Declaration of Rights was acquired with private gifts to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., which directs fundraising efforts for private gifts, manages an endowment, assists with the acquisition of artifacts, and supports special projects and programs of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, a Virginia state agency that operates Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center history museums.
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will present a comprehensive overview of the people and events of the Revolution, from the mid-1700s to the early national period, through gallery exhibits, films and outdoor living history. The Yorktown Victory Center continues in daily operation as a museum of the American Revolution throughout construction, which is occurring in phases and will include a move from the existing museum building to the new facility in early 2015.
Located at 200 Water Street in Yorktown, the Yorktown Victory Center is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through August 15, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily beginning August 16. Admission is $9.75 for adults, $5.50 for ages 6 through 12. A combination ticket with Jamestown Settlement is $20.50 for adults, $10.25 for ages 6-12. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll free or (757) 253-4838, or visit www.historyisfun.org.