By Danny Schechter
New York, New York: The wheel of the calendar has turned again, and July 4th is upon us once again, a day for the consumption of 155 million pounds of hot dogs, and fireworks--75% of the pyro technics industry's revenues ignite in an average 1400 displays on the federal holiday marking the anniversary of American Independence.
Patriotric rituals r' often us, although, never mind, that American celebrations only began after the war of 1812, and that it took quite a while for London to even respond to our declaration.
Quiet as its kept, actual independence only arrived on September, 3, 1783 when Great Britain formally abandoned its claims to its colonies and signed the Treaty of Paris.
Recall also that one of the pledges in the document of documents was a "Decent Respect for The Opinions of Mankind," a vow undercut somewhat by a ruling by an appointed intelligence advisory body this past week--based on who knows what legal foundation--that US Spying on mankind is now and forevermore "legal" under our constitution.
Record this fact, too, that July 4th only became a holiday on June 28, 1870, a decision promulgated in the aftermath of our bloody civil war to encourage some semblance of unity in a still divided nation.
Back in '76, the independence war has been on for a year before the often feuding and disunited politicians of the day decided a declaration was needed. It followed from a resolution by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia that began: "Resolved: 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."