morfishine: July 2, 1776 is the actual “Independence Day” when the 2nd Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence. After voting for independence, the founding Father's began packing up their things for their return trips home, some of which were quite distant. Suddenly Charles Carrroll of Carrollton exclaimed “Wait gentlemen, we can't just leave like this. How will the people know that we've voted to approve their independence?”
Elbridge Gerry replied “Oh Dear, this is awkward. What shall we do?”
Robert Paine chimed in “Why not select 5 of the most distinguished authors, and have them write up some sort of watered-down version explaining the independence resolution. A declaration, if you will”
“Its brilliant” said the Guinness man, “We'll call them the fantastic 5, no, how bout the fabulous 5, no,...I know, we'll call these 5 gentlemen the Committee of Five. Furthermore, I nominate Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston to make up this committee. Its brilliant I tell you, its brilliant”
And work they did, non-stop through July 2, July 3 and July 4. Two matters of subject could not be agreed upon and heated arguments ensued. One involved inflammatory language directed towards English people in general. Franklin had them roaring with laughter with his passage on the “The English and their Dental habits”; the other involved a denouncing of slavery. In the end, both passages were rejected and the Congress voted its approval of the final Draft of this declaration late in the morning of July 4, 1776.
But wait, this was only the approved 'draft copy'. What was needed was a 'fair copy', this being the 're-drafted-as-corrected' copy prepared for the broadside printer, a Mr. John Dunlap. But this copy wasn't finally released til July 5, 1776.
So what is the real Independence Day? Is it July 2, 1776 when the approval of independence was voted on by the 2nd Continental Congress? Or is it July 4, 1776 when the Congress voted to approve declaration as submitted by the Committee of Five? Or is it July 5, 1776 concurrent with the final release of the Dunlap broadside? The problem is none of these dates can be absolutely verified. Oh dear
Perhaps we should designate April 19, 1775 as our Independence Day.