On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee, a Virginia delegate to the Second Continental Congress, proposed what has come to be known as the Lee Resolution, declaring the United States to be separate from the Kingdom of Great Britain. It was tabled, awaiting the consolidation of pro-independence forces, and a committee was formed to write up the reasons for the secession. On July 2, 1776, the resolution was brought before the whole assembly and passed.

And yet it was the date two days later, with the passing of the manifesto, that came to be known as “Independence Day.”

Richard Henry Lee

Richard Henry Lee

Sticklers will appreciate the knowledge that the Second of July is as good a date as the Fourth for a celebration of political independence and liberty, and that the Second has going for it the imprimatur of the Second President of the United States under the Constitution.

Happy July 2!