Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Calendar Pages Turn

It's turned July all of the sudden where I live. I don't know how that happened, but here it is. That means of course two major things: one is that Irish Fest opens NEXT MONTH and that I have a gansey-load of work to do. Two, it means that American Independence Day is upon us! Fireworks! Burgers on the grill! Beer in the cooler! Fathers in the emergency room!

In celebration of the coming day, here again are some mostly true Irish facts for the 4th of July:

Mostly True 4th Of July History

•The Declaration of Independence was written, from Thomas Jefferson's draft, by an Irishman. Charles Thompson, born in Maghera, Co Derry was secretary to the first Congress. His additional line, referring to King George as a "feckin' eejit" and "a cute British hoor" was ultimately removed from the final version of the Declaration.

•John Dunlap, a native of Strabane, first printed the Declaration of Independence, which was first read to the people from the window of the hall in which Congress met, by Colonel John Nixon, another Irishman. In 1815, John Binns, of Philadelphia, another Irishman, published the document for the first time, with reproductions of the signers' signatures. Those reproductions were also rumored to have been used by Binns to sign for bar tabs across the colonies in ensuing years.

•The Declaration of Independence was signed by fifty-six men, of whom nine (including Secretary Thompson) were of Irish origin or descent. Mathew Thornton, born in Ireland in 1714, signed for New Hampshire. James Smith, who signed for Pennsylvania, was born in Ireland in 1713. George Taylor, a signer also for Pennsylvania, was also born in Ireland. George Read, of Delaware, was the son of Irish parents and would later help author the US Constitution. Signer Charles Carroll was of Irish descent. Other Irish-American signers include Thomas Lynch, Jr., Thomas McKean and Edward Rutledge. And Irishman Colm O'Sullivan was twice sent out for sandwiches and beer during the first meeting of the Continental Congress.

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