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A Slight Miscalculation

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress of the American colonies voted to declare independence from Britain. In a letter to his wife Abigail dated, July 3, John Adams wrote:

"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, 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 shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."

The next day, July 4, the Declaration of Independence was signed, and of course it is the signing, not the voting, that we celebrate today.