Notes from around the Human Experience…
SORT OF HOT CONTINENTAL CONGRESS ACTION: The 3rd of July, sandwiched as it is between the 2nd of July – when the United Colonies actually declared their independence from Britain – and the 4th of July – when the Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress – tends to get lost in the shuffle. It is kind of like being the best football player at Duke University, nice, but Duke is a basketball school, so who cares?
Dry, Technical Matter: The Second Continental Congress was in session in Philadelphia on the 3rd, though. Seeking to tone it down a bit after the excitement of adopting the Lee Resolution the day before, and mindful of the labors to come, the Congress took it easy today.
FunFact: The Lee Resolution was also known as the Resolution for Independancy, which was a word back then but is not used too much nowadays. The resolution was named after Richard Henry Lee, a convention delegate from Virginia, who proposed it.
Leading Off: The Congress took care of routine matters first. They entertained letters from the colony of New Jersey and the commissioner of Indian affairs of the southern department.
Then, among other things, Congress then resolved to ask Pennsylvania to send some to help to New Jersey, then passed off the supplying and leading of these troops off on General Washington, who evidently didn’t have enough to do.
FunFact II: War with Great Britain had actually been going on for a year.
Down To Business: Then, finding it “agreeable to the order of the day” the Congress morphed itself into a Committee of the Whole to “farther” consider what the Congressional journal always refers to as the Declaration.
The Congress had been farting around with Thomas Jefferson’s original version since it had been presented to them on June 28. After some discussion, the journal doesn’t say how much, delegate Benjamin Harrison V announced the committee really would prefer to put the matter off until tomorrow, and Congress adjourned for the day.
Name Game: Benjamin Harrison is a familiar name in American history. Benjamin Harrison V was chairman of the Committee of the Whole at the Second Continental Congress that considered and made changes to the Declaration of Independence and in the early 1780’s was the 5th Governor of Virginia. Both his son William Henry and great-grandson Benjamin were presidents of the United States.
TEN-HUT: General George Washington takes command of the Continental Army on this date in 1775. The colonies had been at war with Great Britain since the Battle of Lexington and Concord in April, and Washington had been appointed by the Continental Congress on June 15.
More Great Moments In American Warfare!: The Battle of Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) in the American Civil War concludes on this date in 1863, with the Union repelling one last Confederate attack, known as Pickett’s Charge.
Though it was a victory for the Union, the battle was devastating on both sides. The Army of Northern Virginia, under General Robert E Lee was barely able to retreat, and the Union army, under General George Meade, was unable to pursue them.
Going…Going…Gone…And Gone: In one the major league record book’s most curious marks, pitcher Tony Cloninger becomes the first National League player to hit two grand slam home runs in one game on this date in 1966. He homered in the first and the fourth innings, and added an RBI single in the eighth, giving three hits and nine RBI’s for the day.
Oh Yeah: The Braves defeated the San Francisco Giants 17-3.
The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Old Style Beer: Cloninger wasn’t too bad a hitter actually. He would finish 1966 with five home runs and would finish with eleven home runs over his twelve big league seasons. Cloninger was the fifth major leaguer to hit two grand slams in one game and it has now been done 13 times, the last by Washington’s Josh Willingham in 2009. Cloninger remains the only pitcher to turn the trick.
Whoops, Our Bad: The USS Vincennes shoots down Iran Air Flight 655 on this date in 1988. The plane was over Iranian airspace and the Vincennes was in Iranian waters, also carrying on some small arms fire with Iranian warships.
As usual in incidents like this there is enough blame to go around. Had the Vincennes Commanding Officer William Rodgers not been told, incorrectly, of course, the plane was an attacking Iranian warplane he probably wouldn’t have fired. Had the crew of Flight 655 been monitoring civilian radio frequencies like it should have been, they would have heard the Vincennes trying to make contact with it. Had my parents never met you would be playing with your fidget spinner instead of reading this.
Dry, Technical Matter: While the US never admitted fault or apologized for the incident, it did pay Iran $131.8 million to settle a suit Iran brought in the International Court of Justice.
Thought For The Day: In the city, people paid to hear other people sing and watch other people feel. Passion has become a spectator sport supported by emotional cripples. Love and suffering were knacks possessed by the talented paid to display their gifts. – Lawrence Sanders, The Third Deadly Sin
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Andrew Jackson was the first US president to suffer an assassination attempt. On January 30, 1835, a house painter named Richard Sanders twice attempted to shoot Jackson, but his pistols misfired both times. Jackson then proceeded to beat Sanders with his cane.
Today’s Stumper: What was General George Washington’s salary as commander of the Continental Army? – Answer next time!