It's My Birthday

Facts about July 2nd:

It is the 183rd day of the year and is smack dab in the center, with 182 days before and 182 days following (except for leap years).

Famous people born on this date:
Thurgood Marshall, Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
Medgar Evers, Field Secretary, NAACP
Brock Peters, actor
Patrice Lumumba, first Prime Minister of the Congo
Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's hamburger chain
Paul Williams, original member of Temptations
John Whitehead, songwriter and performer (McFadden & Whitehead)
Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines and shoe fanatic

A weird coincidence: Medgar Evers was murdered in the driveway of his home in Jackson, Mississippi, as he returned on the night of June 12, 1963. Californian Ron Goldman was murdered in the driveway of his friend's home (Nicole Brown Simpson) on the night of June 12, 1994. Not only did were these two men killed the same day, but they were also born the same day . . . this day.

Now, a few words about this day as it relates to the Fourth of July:

America's independence was actually declared by the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. The night of the second the Pennsylvania Evening Post published the statement: "This day the Continental Congress declared the United Colonies Free and Independent States."

John Adams, in a letter home to his beloved wife Abigail the day after independence was declared (i.e. July 3), predicted that from then on "the Second of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival." A scholar coming across this document in the nineteenth century quietly "corrected" the document, Adams predicting the festival would take place not on the second but the fourth.

So what happened on the Glorious Fourth? The document justifying the act of Congress - you know it as Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence - was adopted on the fourth, as is indicated on the document itself, which is, one supposes, the cause for all the confusion. As one scholar has observed, what has happened is that the document announcing the event has overshadowed the event itself.

So think of me when you see those fireworks Friday night. It should have been on the Second. Today is supposed to be the holiday. July 4th is an imposter! But here I am, at work . . . .

Have a Happy Fourth, and a wonderful, safe holiday weekend!! I'll be back Monday with a guest blog by Ann Christopher.


Gwyneth Bolton said...

Happy Birthday, Bettye! Have fun and have a great holiday weekend!


Patricia W. said...

Interesting facts about the July 4 holiday. Sorry you won't get your fireworks although we've been hearing them in my neighborhood at night for the past two weeks.

Happy Birthday and enjoy the holiday weekend!

DonnaD said...

Happy Birthday, Bettye! You are in terrific company. My cousin's birthday is today too (which reminds me - I should call her).

Have a happy 4th!

Lori said...

Have a great one, Ms. Bettye! Your post reminded me of something as well--I have a friend with a birthday on the 4th. Gosh! I need to send her something ASAP. (smile)

bettye griffin said...

Thanks, all, for the good wishes! It means a lot to me.

Yasmin said...

Happy b-day sis and many more!

Urban Reviews said...

Happy belated b-day!

Radiah of

shelia said...

Bettye, I hope you were able to enjoy your birthday and the 4th. In fact, celebrate the whole month of July :)

bettye griffin said...

Thanks, y'all!