July 2nd, 2008
05:04 PM ET

Have a Happy 2nd of July!

David M. Reisner
AC360° Digital Producer

So I wanted to be the first to wish you a Happy Independence Day! So what are you going to do tonight to celebrate? Yes, that’s right… you heard me… Tonight

On July 2nd 1776 the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia. On the table, a resolution brought before the congress by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.

…And on that day, July 2nd 1776, they approved the Resolution Of Independence… A free nation was proclaimed and the United States of America was formed. No fireworks, no cheering crowds, just a handful of men in Philadelphia knew what had happened.

John Adam’s, the nation’s future first vice president, wrote to his wife overjoyed with the momentous occasion:

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.

Sorry John, it didn’t exactly pan out like that. While the founding fathers made the bold move to break with England on the 2nd, the document which would actually do so needed to be cleaned up and re-worked before being unveiled to the public… Which occurred… you guessed it… July the 4th, 1776.

To top it off, John Hancock was the only one to sign that day (maybe that’s the other reason he signed so prominently, as to fill up the empty space). The other 55 delegates signed the document on August 2nd – I’ll remind you to celebrate then too – don’t worry.

Oh, and the British didn’t receive the declaration until January 1777…no blogs back then to post instantly.

So I guess with all these benchmarks in a nation’s break with England – we can split the difference and remember the moment on July 4th…

…But tonight, for John Adams sake, go outside, make your self a hot dog, grab a sparkler and wish your neighbor a Happy 2nd of July.

Filed under: David M. Reisner • Raw Politics
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. J.V.hodgson

    Great Anderson,
    Best thing the US ever did. (And I am British!!) Make history again by allowing other nation states like Iraq to do the same. It is thier choice as it was yours so many years ago.
    The 4th of July might be a good day for Bush to declare Iraq is now a self governing "Independent" state and "mission accomplished." OOPS!! The irony is brilliant just like Obama and Clinton choosing Unity and Obama Independence for some speeches!


    July 3, 2008 at 5:05 am |
  2. Brenda in Alaska

    Thanks for the great history lesson! Why was I so sleepy/bored in history class? It is so absolutely intense and awe-inspiring! Happy Independence Day to you, as well!

    Thanks again – now as I answer my 6 y/o daughter's questions about Independence Day, I can add those pieces of history into our discussion and she will have a great "tid-bits" of knowledge to share with her classmates when it comes up in school... (More provocative than the question she just posed: Mom, how do you get belly button lint?)

    Again, Happy Independence Day, Happy Fourth of July, August 2nd, and January 1777!!! (Precocious 6 y/o listening to Anderson as he covers the prisoners who were set free in Colombia today: "Mom, when they say 'Anderson', do they mean 'Anderson Cooper'?"

    She inherited the AC 360 shirt my husband bought for me b/c it was a bit teensy. Now she's already getting hooked on good journalism from handsome globe-trotters who are interested in the plight of our planet, people, and other political problems that face this world.

    Hmmm, maybe we've done a good job parenting after all!!! 🙂 LOL!!

    Brenda in AK

    July 3, 2008 at 2:48 am |
  3. susan

    Welcome Independence!

    You wanted to know what were the plans for the night – just came from a seminar that pointed out that to wish one a "Happy xyz" suggests that one is not happy at other times. I value our Independence and Process at all times.

    Maybe it comes from learning Colonial History 3 x in school (4th, 7th and HS American Civ) from the Virginia (x2) and Massachusetts perspectives as well as being 1st generation (i.e. parents immigrated), but I actually knew that about the 2nd versus the 4th. Perhaps that is also one reason I value the election process. I've missed a couple primaries, but never a general election. Even if I cant stand any of the candidates, I will complete a ballot. It may be a protest vote – a write in (that wont really be counted – I did write in Snoopy one time), or the third party just in protest.

    The main thing I took away, if you dont vote, if you dont exercise that right for which so many fought so bravely, you have no right to criticize. You had your chance to make an official comment but thought it wasnt worth it, but it is to just mouth off. Sorry, but that behavior just gets my dander.

    July 3, 2008 at 1:24 am |
  4. Joan Marie

    Yes, I LOVE America! I am a 20+ year military veteran/retired and my husband is a 30 year military retired veteran. We both say CELEBRATE the INDEPENDENCE of this great country that we freely gave most of our adult lives defending....Drill here – Drill now – Be Oil Independent!

    July 3, 2008 at 12:48 am |
  5. Annie Kate


    Thanks for the history lesson. It took a lot of courage to write and sign the declaration and declare our independence and a lot of commitment to see it through. I wonder what they would think of the country now if they were alive to see.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 3, 2008 at 12:01 am |
  6. Jim

    We sit on our porch & watch the airport fireworks show – my friends Birthday is the 4th. 232 years- now will we make it to 233?

    July 2, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  7. Shelley, Washington the State

    Wow...what a nice story. I did not know this about our countries history. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    July 2, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  8. Larry

    BTW David, a happy 4th to you and all the family at CNN 🙂

    July 2, 2008 at 8:51 pm |
  9. CaseyJPS - California

    Hmmm. I'm trying to think with whom to share this history–so many come to mind. Maybe a entry on my blog with an email blast. I love this kind of stuff. It's very cool. Thank you for sharing this, David. Did you study American history in school?

    July 2, 2008 at 8:25 pm |
  10. pati mc., camp hill, pa


    You are some funny dude! All the best and thanks for the history lesson. I was in Philadelphia yesterday and the celebrations had begun in earnest. Guess being from Philly one would know all of this. I am happy to report that I knew most of what you have reiterated, but always great to be remided, so rock on.

    Now grab your lawn chair, a hot dog, the beverage of your choice and come on out back. We are waiting for you to get the party started!!!!
    Oh, and watch out for those sparklers. They have been known to kill people. (just kidding! – all the same, be careful y'all!).

    Celebrate Independence (on all levels!) All The Best 360 gang!

    July 2, 2008 at 8:00 pm |
  11. deborah, OH

    Thanks, David for the info.
    When my mother was alive, we would celebrate the 4th for 3 days, because it was her birthday (she would be 94 this year.)

    So, Happy 2nd, & we actually did, just have, hot dogs & brats on the grill.

    Thanks for the blog. And, Betty Ann, the margarita sounds good too.

    July 2, 2008 at 7:48 pm |
  12. Megan Dresslar

    Helllloooo David,
    Me too! Happy 2nd of July or 4thof July to you too! I have stay home to watch fireworks on tv, Also I have plan to do to join Live Blog tonight or on Friday night! I will eat hot dogs, chips, and drink soda. I am so exciting watch many different kind fireworks! It will be fun show! I am planing to watch 360! See you there tonight!
    @ Cindy in Ga,
    I agree with you!! LOL I am plan watching 360 too! you are so funny!
    Happy 4th of July to Bloggers!
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, WA

    July 2, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  13. Larry

    David. Do we not give thanks to the native americans and French who helped us win our freedom from Britain? Its not like we did it alone.

    July 2, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  14. Mikael H, Sweden

    Happy 2nd of July then! Would put up a flag over here but i don't want people to throw rocks at me.

    July 2, 2008 at 6:58 pm |
  15. Kathy, Chicago

    Actually, I am celebrating tonight. My friend and her daughter are coming over for dinner. We're supposed to be at a horse show, but sometimes bad things happen, so I'm trying to do anything I can do to cheer up my daughter. We will use this as an excuse to celebrate! Have a great holiday! P.S. I'll tivo 360 just in case.

    July 2, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  16. Larry

    Hi David, I guess my question regarding the contributions of native americans to our independence was considered inappropriate.

    July 2, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  17. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Happy Independence Days! We should celebrate something so huge in a really huge way! And never take for granted that we are a nation of the people, by the people, for the people. Our rights are in essence privileges earned through the sacrifice of those who fought, were injured, or died defending those privileges. We owe those men and women our gratitude on this holiday weekend and always. Think I'll watch The Patriot tonight. Cheers.

    July 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  18. Alex

    How ironic and certainly appropriate! Thx for the history lesson that so coincides with a happy ending for those folks. Now we need to turn our attention and praise to the young (and older) men and women (and their families) of our Armed Forces who protect our freedom worldwide. Its not whether you agree or disagree with their fight, it's that this nation and it's people remember their daily sacrifice just so we can sit here, exchange ideas and enjoy one another's comments. Freedom isn't free and shouldn't be forgotten or taken for granted. May the Good Lord watch over and bless each of them, each of us and our great nation this coming 4th!

    July 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  19. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hey David!
    Thanks for the info and the head's up. . . up with the flag that is.
    That is a good excuse for a hotdog and a margarita.
    It's the 4th somewhere!

    July 2, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  20. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi David,
    I think I'll be remembering our troops today. Past, present and future ones. So here's to our military and families. July 2 or 4th, I appreciate your service and will remember while celebrating with friends and family, that nothing in this country is free or came free. Thank you. Happy 4th of July..

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    July 2, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  21. liz

    Very Interesting David... thanks for the historical aspect of July 4th

    July 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  22. Cindy

    Thanks David. Happy July 2nd right back at cha! LOL I guess I'll be celebrating by watching 360! So y'all put on some fireworks tonight, how about it!? LOL


    July 2, 2008 at 5:10 pm |