The Daily Dose/Thursday, July 4, 2024

The Daily Dose/July 4, 2024
By Gaylon Kent – America’s Funniest Guy™

Leading Off
Notes from around the human experience.

WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS…: Today is Independence Day here in America, the national holiday commemorating the Second Continental Congress approving the Declaration of Independence.

FunFact: Almost interesting is the fact we came pretty close to having July 3 as our national holiday because the Continental Congress spent no small amount of time that day considering it, though they ended up tabling the matter until the 4th.   

Fly In The Ointment: There are a couple of misconceptions associated with the Declaration: 1) it does not commemorate the US declaring independence from Great Britain. That had happened two days earlier. 2) It did not start the American Revolution, which had started the year before with the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

Dry, Technical Matter: History credits Thomas Jefferson with writing it. He was a member of a 5-person committee the Congress had formed to write a declaration of why the Colonies wanted to separate from Great Britain. The committee wisely assigned him the task of writing the first draft, after which John Adams and Benjamin Franklin got their mitts on it before it went before the entire Congress. It is estimated they deleted a quarter of it and rewrote other parts while Jefferson silently fumed in the back of what is now Independence Hall.

Quote That Sucker: The Declaration includes one of the most famous sentences ever written:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. 

LOL: Jefferson was just kidding, of course. He was a slave owner who used slavery to live the comfortable life he preferred and he disciplined his slaves as needed. Heck, Jefferson was even a slavery innovator, the first to use slaves as collateral, for a 1796 loan from a Dutch banking house.  

It Is Written: Jefferson knew what he was doing, however. He had a strong sense of history – as the Lewis & Clark Expedition confirmed – and no doubt realized he was not only living history but was writing for it as much as he was writing for his fellow wealthy, white landowners.   

Please Pass The Dry, Technical Matter: Almost interesting is the fact the Declaration – as Jefferson himself was fond of admitting – contained no original concepts. This is not an indictment because every word a writer puts to paper is a combination of both influences that have wormed their way into his mind and what pours out from his heart.

Good Gravy, No Wonder You Don’t Get Any Dates: The Declaration had a variety of influences, including John Locke, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, Jefferson’s own preamble to Virginia’s constitution, and the Virginia Declaration of Rights by George Mason.

The Bottom Line: Despite its utter unoriginality and its being written by a slave owner, the Declaration of Independence, as it should, remains a landmark in human letters. If you have some time today, go and read it. Every American should be familiar with it. 

Today At The Site
Writing worth reading. Usually. 

The Diary of a Nobody – Sparrow has yet more news on the cat. Today’s Diary.

The big news – and it is HUGE – is the cat seems to be taking to her hot, new low-rise litter boxes…


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On This Date
Extra, extra, read all about it. 

In 1845 – Henry David Thoreau moves into a small cabin he built near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau would spend the next 27 months living in the cabin, an experience that formed the basis for his book Walden, Or Life in the Woods. The cabin was built on land owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was torn down later in the century and a replica, as well as a statue of Thoreau, now stands on the site. 

In 1982 – Jimmy Connors wins the Wimbledon championship, defeating defending champion John McEnroe 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4. It was the second and final Wimbledon title for Connors and his sixth of eight major titles, and was the second and final runner-up finish for McEnroe. The day before, McEnroe lost the doubles final with Peter Fleming to Peter McNamara and Paul McNamee. It was the first match in Wimbledon’s 105-year history to be scheduled for a  Sunday. 

In 2009 – The Black Eyed Peas are at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for the twelfth and final consecutive with Boom Boom Pow. It was the first of three #1s for the group,and the song went to #1 in six other countries including Israel, Portugal, and Great Britain. It peaked at #51 on Billboard’s R&B chart, was their #1 song of the year, and was their 7th-biggest song of the decade. The following week, their song I Gotta Feeling began a 14-week stay at #1, with the 26 consecutive weeks establishing a record for most consecutive weeks at #1 that still stands. 

Some Philosophy Crap
The wisdom of the ages. Whatever.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Knowledge is power.

Tiger Woods has won the most British Opens in the 21st century, three (2000, 2005, 2006). 

Today’s Stumper
Match wits with Gaylon. It’s not that hard.

Who were the other two members of the committee formed to write what became the Declaration of Independence? – Answer next time!


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