Independence Day: Snippets of Great Wisdoms

This time each year, we see the videos of our fellow Americans who haven’t a clue what the Fourth of July celebrates. They don’t know who our Declaration of Independence declares independence from. They don’t know from which war that freedom was gained. There are masses of ignorant Americans and I’d like to hear from our history teachers. How can this be? See below two videos from the John Adams mini-series on the Declaration of Independence.

President Ronald Reagan – What July Fourth Means to Me, 1981

Ronald Reagan

It also commemorates the only true philosophical revolution in all history.

Oh, there have been revolutions before and since ours. But those revolutions simply exchanged one set of rules for another. Ours was a revolution that changed the very concept of government.

Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941:

Franklin D. Roosevelt

“It is, indeed, a fallacy, based on no logic at all, for any American to suggest that the rule of force can defeat human freedom in all the other parts of the world and permit it to survive in the United States alone… It is simple — I could almost say simple-minded–for us Americans to wave the flag, to reassert our belief in the cause of freedom and to let it go at that… I tell the American people solemnly that the United States will never survive as a happy and fertile oasis of liberty surrounded by a cruel desert of dictatorship.

And so it is that when we repeat the great pledge to our country and to our flag, it must be our deep conviction that we pledge as well our work, our will and, if it be necessary, our very lives.”

President Abraham Lincoln 1863 (recalls the deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both on July 4th, 1826)

Abraham Lincoln

How long ago is it? Eighty odd years since, upon the Fourth day of July, for the first time in the world, a union body of representatives was assembled to declare as a self-evident truth that all men were created equal. [Cheers.]

That was the birthday of the United States of America. Since then the fourth day of July has had several very peculiar recognitions. The two most distinguished men who framed and supported that paper, including the particular declaration I have mentioned, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the one having framed it, and the other sustained it most ably in debate, the only two of the fifty-five or fifty-six who signed it, I believe, who were ever President of the United States, precisely fifty years after they put their hands to that paper it pleased the Almighty God to take away from this stage of action on the Fourth of July. This extraordinary coincidence we can understand to be a dispensation of the Almighty Ruler of Events.

Another of our Presidents [James Monroe], five years afterwards, was called from this stage of existence on the same day of the month, and now on this Fourth of July just past, when a gigantic rebellion has risen in the land, precisely at the bottom of which is an effort to overthrow that principle “that all men are created equal,” we have a surrender of one of their most powerful positions and powerful armies forced upon them on that very day. [Cheers.] And I see in the succession of battles in Pennsylvania, which continued three days, so rapidly following each other as to be justly called one great battle, fought on the first, second and third of July; on the fourth the enemies of the declaration that all men are created equal had to turn tail and run. [Laughter and applause.]

President Harry Truman 1945:

Harry S. Truman

This year, the men and women of our armed forces, and many civilians as well, are celebrating the anniversary of American Independence in other countries throughout the world. Citizens of these other lands will understand what we celebrate and why, for freedom is dear to the hearts of all men everywhere. In other lands, others will join us in honoring our declaration that all men are created equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights–life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Here at home, on this July 4, 1945, let us honor our Nation’s creed of liberty, and the men and women of our armed forces who are carrying this creed with them throughout the world.

Thomas H. Watts 1876, former Governor of Alabama (looks forward to America’s centennial in 1976):

If our people be true to the Constitution; if good will and internal peace prevail; if science continue its giant stride; if God be our God, and we be His people; judging the future by the past, the States composing the American Union will be multiplied to one hundred States; the population will be increased from forty to four hundred millions; our territory will extend to the Isthmus of Panama from the frozen lakes of the North; railroads, like a network, will connect all parts of this vast country, and intelligence will flash along innumerable telegraph wires from State to State, from city to city and from village to village! The school-house and the church will adorn every hill and beautify every valley!

And these four hundred millions of people from one hundred free, separate, independent, and co-equal States, protected by the same Federal Constitution, speaking the same language, worshiping the same God, will unite their voices in anthems of praise and adoration to the Rulers of the Universe, and of gratitude to the patriots of two hundred years ago, for the blessings of American freedom.

President George W. Bush, 2001 Philadelphia:

George W. Bush

And each of the founders, coming here, would know the ring of the Liberty Bell. It rang to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, 225 years ago. Those new citizens of a nation just four days old heard inspiring words, but not original thoughts. Our founders considered themselves heirs to principles that were timeless and truths that were self-evident.

When Jefferson sat down to write, he was trying, he said, to place before mankind “the common sense of the subject.” The common sense of the subject was that we should be free. And though great evils would linger, the world would never be the same after July 4, 1776. A wonderful country was born, and a revolutionary idea sent forth to all mankind: Freedom, not by the good graces of government, but as the birthright of every individual. Equality, not as a theory of philosophers, but by the design of our Creator.Natural rights, not for the few, not even for a fortunate many, but for all people in all place, in all times.

President George W. Bush 2007 (War on Terror):

We believe in an Almighty, we believe in the freedom for people to worship that Almighty. They don’t. They don’t believe you should worship the way you choose. They believe the only way you should worship is the way they choose. And, therefore — and, therefore, they will do anything they can to spread that ideology. And it’s our charge, it’s our calling to keep the pressure on these people, to defend America and to spread an ideology of hope and an ideology of peace so that the kids who came up here to give the Pledge of Allegiance will be able to live in peace and security.

John Adams – July 3, 1776:

John Adams

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.”


The Constitution Club, July 2, 2011 – an essay on some words used by Barack Obama (not July 4th speeches) which show his true beliefs about American liberty:

Barack Obama

Take some of the words President Obama has used in his speeches. Americans wouldn’t be able to count on the government relieving them of the tiresome burdens of life. Drudgery would become the universal bane of the working class (There is more. Click the link above and read it all)


Mini Series: John Adams and the Declaration of Independence (video)

John Adams – God Save the American States (video)

Related Independence Day Articles:

Things you can do to restore liberty

Why do we celebrate the 4th of July? Hmmmm.

Margaret Thatcher Misses Ronald Reagan Tribute: Thatcher on Socialism Video

The First Days of the Newborn Republic: The Sights and Sounds of Declaring Independence

  • Exceptional post, very informative!

    A happy Independence Day to your and yours, Ma’am

  • Thanks for a great collection of words of wisdom. Hope you have a great one.

  • I could go on all day but….

    ‘Our founders considered themselves heirs to principles that were timeless and truths that were self-evident.’

    Thank you Gee Bubya and yes, we miss you yet.

    I have some appropriate posts for today, but have really come here to wish Maggie and her loyal readers a happy Fourth. And to tell them I am more optimistic than ever we will once again restore our nation to conservative principles.

    It’s a mindset that just cannot lose. Ask our founding fathers and they will tell you. Sure, they were concerned about outcomes but confident in their philosophy and resolve. So am I.

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  • Awesome post! Wishing you and yours a Happy Independence Day, Maggie!

  • An excellent tribute Maggie. Thanks for posting it. Have a great Independence Day!

  • Pingback: Things You Can Do To Restore Liberty – Updated | The Lonely Conservative()

  • Great post, Maggie. And thanks for the link. I hope you’re feeling better and that boot isn’t giving you too much trouble.