Tag: Independence Day

3 Things to Read This Independence Day Weekend


Happy Independence Day. Or, from Britain’s perspective, Happy Treason Day, you ungrateful colonials.

One good habit on this anniversary of our Independence is to read the actual Declaration by the Second Continental Congress, agreed to on July 2nd but announced a couple of days later. It’s not a lengthy document but is the “why” behind the “how” of the Constitution, ratified some 13 years later after our war for Independence, which I’m reminded of every time I pass by the Brandywine River a few miles west of our home.

But I suggest reading two more documents by the American patriot, Thomas Paine, who is perhaps the most interesting of our nation’s founders. British born, he came to America in 1774, and a year later, wrote the document — a pamphlet — “Common Sense” that makes the case for American independence. It’s a bit longer than the Constitution, but worth your time.

A Bittersweet Independence Day


This year of 2020, when we Americans should be celebrating American Exceptionalism—the big difference in America’s founding and history from every other nation on Earth—our great country is riven by rioting, looting, Marxism, ugliness, vandalism. Oh, and also a worldwide pandemic of a virus that originated in Communist China.

Instead of the sound of parades, brass bands playing Stars and Stripes Forever, and laughing children; we hear screams, bullhorns, and the rending sounds of toppling monuments. Instead of praise for the Founding Fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and all the others, we hear praise for career criminals and Marxist fugitives.

On Independence Day, when so much seems to be going wrong, perhaps we need to take a step back, share a laugh, and then focus some attention on those whose dedication makes this and every Independence Day possible. This episode meets both of those needs as Dave sits down with comedian David Deeble to bring the blood pressure down a bit by looking at the lighter side of life. Everything is fair game, from rioters toppling garden gnomes, to the proper placement of deer crossing signs in this freewheeling and fun exchange.

Then, Dave talks with new Ricochet Member Nick Plosser, who has started his own podcast called The Half Percent. The podcast provides a needed outlet and opportunity for active duty military, veterans, guard and reserve troops to tell their story, share their experiences, and bring you into the world of that half percent of Americans who are serving their country in uniform at any given time. Nick is an inspiring gentleman, and has even persuaded Dave to be a guest on an upcoming episode of his podcast (we understand there will be humor and bourbon involved, though we’re not sure which comes first). If you’re looking for reasons to celebrate Independence Day, this episode will do the trick.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Gordon Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Radicalism of the American Revolution. Professor Wood shares his wisdom about the many ways in which the Revolution marked a new beginning for humanity, reversing the centuries-old, top-down understanding of government and society. They begin with the efforts of Founders such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Rush to institute universal public education to nurture the well-educated and enlightened citizenry that they viewed as the backbone of the Republic. They discuss why George Washington’s “disinterest” in political rewards for military victory was so unique and extraordinary among his international contemporaries. Professor Wood also explains how the American Revolution gave rise to the first anti-slave movements in world history, and how actions taken to abolish slavery led to its eventual demise as a result of the Civil War. They also delve into the lives of the Revolutionary era’s often less well-known female figures, including Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Judith Sargent Murray, and the inspirational freed slave poet, Phillis Wheatley. Professor Wood concludes with observations on Aaron Burr, popularized through “Hamilton,” the phenomenally successful musical, and the character traits and actions that have cast Burr as one of American history’s most notorious Founding era figures. The Learning Curve team would like to wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July!

Stories of the Week: A Good Morning America feature story highlights how African-American history will likely see greater traction across the nation’s classrooms, thanks to teachers’ efforts to move beyond outdated textbooks and create their own culturally-sensitive learning materials. The supervisory group for the Nation’s Report Card announced this week that it is cancelling national assessments of U.S. history or civics in 2021 for eighth graders. Is this decision reflective of a legitimate concern about spreading COVID, or merely a concession to the country’s growing anti-testing movement?

Member Post


On Brian Kilmeade’s radio show today, he said to his guest that Trump is down in eight different polls, and they can’t all be wrong. All the talk shows have suggestions: Trump needs to call Biden out (of the basement) and ask him how he would handle……lack of law enforcement to respond to emergencies (happening […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post


I watched the Washington D. C. parade on television with my daughter-in-law. We decided to award an imaginary prize to the most American thing we saw in the parade. The winner was the Falun Dafa marching band. The Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, are practitioners of a form of Buddhism. Falun Gong members […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

President Trump made a speech on Independence Day in which he gave a history of each branch of the United States Military, accompanied by a fly over of air craft from each service. While this is a podcast, we also suggest you watch the video of the speech for the visuals of the air craft flying over the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial:

Quote of the Day #2: The Declaration of Independence


“The Declaration of Independence is not only an American document. It follows on Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights as the third great title-deed on which the liberties of the English-speaking people are founded. By it we lost an Empire, but by it we also preserved an Empire. By applying its principles and learning its lesson we have maintained our communion with the powerful Commonwealths our children have established beyond the seas…We therefore join in perfect sincerity and simplicity with our American kith and kin in celebrating the auspicious and glorious anniversary of their nationhood.” – Winston Churchill, July 4, 1918

His words are just as true today as when he said them 101 years and two days ago. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution may now seem as if they are under siege, but the were under siege by those who hate liberty when they were written and have remained under siege ever since.

Chilling Out on the 4th of July


Two and a half years ago, I shared how my father acquired a cannon for holiday noisemaking and celebration in the story “Holiday Traditions: Entering the New Year with a Bang.”

As part of the Bicentennial Year, the Bellmore Johnson Tool Company re-released the Winchester Model 98 signal cannon, a 10-gauge blank-firing miniature cannon. They were all-metal, painted black, and fired by pulling a 10-foot lanyard. […] Firing produced a roar, a flash of flame, and cloud of smoke, and the cannon recoiled several feet.

The timing of the acquisition was critical. It was needed to celebrate the bicentennial of our nation’s Declaration of Independence. We also got a Betsy Ross flag to fly out front of our quarters on the Army post where we lived, which was pretty cool. But what was really cool, besides the homemade ice tea with fresh mint, was ice cream at the picnic held in the yard between quarters (houses).

Leftist History over American Herstory


Just where does an American-based corporation and their rich, male, former jock, brand representative get off imposing history over the narrative of a woman? I had thought we were past powerful privileged men silencing, dismissing, and trivializing herstory. Yet here we are, with another patriarchal pack mansplaining a woman’s original work. The corporate leadership of Nike, following the lead of Colin Kaepernick, have branded Betsy Ross’s original flag design a white supremacist symbol.

Leftist propaganda organs have amplified this slander, claiming white supremacist groups use the original flag design to signify rejecting the post-Civil War constitutional amendments. The left’s real objection, of course, is to the actual history, the Declaration of Independence that they despise, assigning to it the same strained and stained meaning claimed by the black-robed bigot, Chief (In)Justice Taney in the fraudulent Dred Scott decision. Instead of supporting herstory, and taking back a woman’s original creative work from some knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers, the leftist elite privileged this attack on women, thus banishing a woman’s art as shameful.

All people of good will should push back, rejecting such a shameful assault on a woman’s work and her important place in America’s story. Reject Nike’s leftist hate. True history must include her story. Fly the Betsy Ross flag with pride, as President Obama did at both of his inaugural ceremonies, as did his predecessors and successor. See the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. See, also, the New York Times on President Obama’s 2013 inauguration:

Member Post


One of the primary goals of the Framers in crafting the Constitution was to establish a central government with very specific powers, and a self-limiting structure that would constrain those powers. Given the behemoth under which we now live, it is safe to say that the Constitution has failed utterly to live up to this […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post


Amid the usual dishonest, dissembling, distracting propaganda about President Trump’s plan to address the nation from the Lincoln Memorial on Independence Day, the Washington Post let slip that another president spoke from the National Mall on the same occasion. President Truman, a Democrat, mind you, spoke from the Washington Monument on July 4, 1951! So, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Understanding: Declarations and Independence


How should we understand the 4th of July? How does it mark independence, and why did a declaration matter? The document speaks for itself on the last question, and this is worth our reflection in our own day, with talk again of regional alienation.

The 4th of July was the date in 1776 on which prominent representatives, from the 13 American colonies, put their signatures to a document proclaiming formal independence from the British Empire. However, if we paid attention to the combined holiday on June 14, Flag Day and the Army Birthday, the colonies had already been at war with the motherland for a year. Victory, recognition by the Empire, was years away and not on the 4th of July. So, on July 4, 1776, was “independence” as an aspiration, not yet realized.

Deep Dive on the Declaration of Independence and Its Relevance Today


In honor of Independence Day, for this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast I take a deep dive into the Declaration of Independence, discussing:

  • Its unique place in human history and the cause of freedom
  • The link between natural law and natural rights, faith and freedom
  • The Founders’ emphasis on virtue and morality to sustain a free system of limited government
  • Parallels between the charges laid out against King George III in the Declaration and modern America from the administrative state to sanctuary cities
  • The Founders’ views on slavery, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and failing to live up to the values and principles of the Declaration
  • The imperative to defend liberty against tyranny
  • And much more

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found or download the episode directly here.

The Declaration of Independence


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.

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 Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–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 of 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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, 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.–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.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

Member Post


Here’s something else to sip on, along with your local craft beer over the grill tomorrow. On Election Day 2016, there were approximately 8,500 that identified themselves as Democratic Socialists via membership to the DSA. Last year, that number was clocked at 24,000, a three-fold increase in 18 months. Their membership and target groups range […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.