One of my favorite things to teach is U.S. history, particularly the events that surrounded the signing of the Declaration of Independence. So get ready for some learnin'...got your #2 pencil handy?
*In June 1776, Congress selected a committee including John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman to draft a declaration of independence. The committee then chose Thomas Jefferson to write the document.
*On June 11, 1776 Thomas Jefferson began writing the first draft of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. He finished 17 days later on June 28.
*The first part of the document explains the reasons behind the break with England. The last part is a list of grievances and complaints against King George III.
*Even though the Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress on July 4, most delegates didn't sign until August 2.
*56 men signed the Declaration. The youngest was 26; the oldest (Ben Franklin) was 70.
*2 future presidents signed (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson) as well as 3 future vice presidents.
*Other signers included farmers, lawyers, merchants, and physicians.
*My IRL BFF Deb's great, great, great, great grandfather signed the document. (Did I get those greats right, Deb?)
You've been a great class. Now go grill some hot dogs, eat some potato salad and baked beans and drink some iced tea. And as you watch your fireworks show tonight, take a moment to remember the men and women who have helped to keep this an independent nation for more than 200 years.