Sunday, July 4, 2010

US Independence Day: The Declaration: Part 10

And for the support of this declaration,
with a firm reliance
on the protection of Divine Providence,
we mutually pledge to each other
our lives,
our fortunes
and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Matthew Thornton

John Hancock
Samual Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery

Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross

Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Source: The Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776,


The US National Anthem,
sung solo without accompaniment


Jimi Hendrix on electric guitar at Woodstock


Nona Gaye with her father, Marvin Gaye


Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians
2008 New York Independence Day Fireworks Display

US Independence Day: The Declaration: Part 9

We, therefore,
the representatives of the United States of America,
in General Congress, assembled,
appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world
for the rectitude of our intentions,
do, in the name, and by the authority
of the good people of these colonies,
solemnly publish and declare,
that these united colonies are,
and of right
ought to be free and independent states;
that they are absolved from all allegiance
to the British Crown,
and that all political connection
between them and the state of Great Britain,
is and ought to be totally dissolved;
and that as free and independent states,
they have full power
to levy war,
conclude peace,
contract alliances,
establish commerce,
and to do all other acts and things
which independent states may of right do.

Leonard Bernstein
conducting the New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Albert Hall, London, England, 1976

US Independence Day: The Declaration: Part 8

Nor have we been wanting in attention
to our British brethren.
We have warned them from time to time
of attempts by their legislature
to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.

We have reminded them of the circumstances
of our emigration and settlement here.
We have appealed
to their native justice and magnanimity,
and we have conjured them
by the ties of our common kindred
to disavow these usurpations,
which, would inevitably interrupt
our connections and correspondence.

They too have been deaf
to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.
We must, therefore,
acquiesce in the necessity,
which denounces our separation,
and hold them,
as we hold the rest of mankind,
enemies in war,
in peace friends.

Ray Charles singing America the Beautiful

US Independence Day: The Declaration: Part 7

He has abdicated government here,
by declaring us out of his protection
and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas,
ravaged our coasts,
burned our towns,
and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time
transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries
to complete the works
of death, desolation and tyranny,
already begun with circumstances
of cruelty and perfidy
scarcely paralleled
in the most barbarous ages,
and totally unworthy
the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens
taken captive on the high seas
to bear arms against their country,
to become the executioners
of their friends and brethren,
or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us,
and has endeavored to bring
on the inhabitants of our frontiers,
the merciless Indian savages,
whose known rule of warfare,
is undistinguished destruction
of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions
we have petitioned for redress
in the most humble terms:
our repeated petitions
have been answered only by repeated injury.
A prince,
whose character is thus marked
by every act which may define a tyrant,
is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Kate Smith introducing God Bless America

US Independence Day: The Declaration: Part 6

He has combined with others to subject us
to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,
and unacknowledged by our laws;
giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial,
from punishment for any murders
which they should commit
on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases,
of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas
to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws
in a neighboring province,
establishing therein an arbitrary government,
and enlarging its boundaries
so as to render it at once
an example and fit instrument
for introducing the same absolute rule
in these colonies:

For taking away our charters,
abolishing our most valuable laws,
and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures,
and declaring themselves invested with power
to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

John Phillip Sousa, Liberty Bell March

US Independence Day: The Declaration: Part 5

He has endeavored to prevent
the population of these states;
for that purpose obstructing the laws
for naturalization of foreigners;
refusing to pass others
to encourage their migration hither,
and raising the conditions
of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice,
by refusing his assent to laws
for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent
on his will alone,
for the tenure of their offices,
and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices,
and sent hither swarms of officers
to harass our people,
and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace,
standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military
independent of and superior to civil power.

Battle Hymn of the Republic
Performer unknown

US Independence Day: The Declaration: Part 4

He has refused his assent to laws,
the most wholesome and necessary
for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors
to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance,
unless suspended in their operation
till his assent should be obtained;
and when so suspended,
he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
Recited by Jeff Daniels


He has refused to pass other laws
for the accommodation of large districts of people,
unless those people would relinquish the right
of representation in the legislature,
a right inestimable to them
and formidable to tyrants only.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I Have A Dream"
August 28, 1963


He has called together legislative bodies
at places unusual, uncomfortable,
and distant from the depository
of their public records,
for the sole purpose of fatiguing them
into compliance with his measures.

Independence Day
Performed by Martina McBride


He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly,
for opposing with manly firmness
his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time,
after such dissolutions,
to cause others to be elected;
whereby the legislative powers,
incapable of annihilation,
have returned to the people at large
for their exercise;
the state remaining in the meantime
exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without,
and convulsions within.

God Bless the USA
Lee Greenwood

US Independence Day: The Declaration: Part 3

Prudence, indeed, will dictate
that governments long established
should not be changed for light and transient causes;
and accordingly all experience hath shown
that mankind are more disposed to suffer,
while evils are sufferable,
than to right themselves
by abolishing the forms
to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations,
pursuing invariably the same object
evinces a design to reduce them
under absolute despotism,
it is their right,
it is their duty,
to throw off such government,
and to provide new guards
for their future security.

Ronald Reagan
"A Time for Choosing"
October 27, 1964


--Such has been the patient sufferance
of these colonies;
and such is now the necessity
which constrains them to alter
their former systems of government.
The history of the present King of Great Britain
is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations,
all having in direct object
the establishment of an absolute tyranny
over these states.
To prove this,
let facts be submitted to a candid world.

Lift Every Voice and Sing
Performed by Acapella

US Independence Day: The Declaration: Part 2

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

and the pursuit of happiness.

A montage of US politics in the 1960's


That to secure these rights,
governments are instituted among men,
deriving their just powers
from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any form of government
becomes destructive to these ends,
it is the right of the people
to alter or to abolish it,
and to institute new government,
laying its foundation on such principles
and organizing its powers in such form,
as to them shall seem most likely
to effect their safety and happiness.

My Country Tis of Thee
One-man Harmonica ensemble by Kyong H. Lee

US Independence Day: The Declaration: Part 1

The Unanimous Declaration
of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events,
it becomes necessary for one people
to dissolve the political bands
which have connected them with another,
and to assume among the powers of the earth,
the separate and equal station
to which the laws of nature
and of nature's God entitle them,
a decent respect to the opinions of mankind
requires that they should declare the causes
which impel them to the separation.

The National Anthem
of the United States of America
performed by
The Academy Choirs and US Army Herald Trumpet Corps