“July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, 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 more.”
-Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3rd 1776
Celebrating American Independence!
“[T]he sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people,” President George Washington said in his 1789 Inaugural Address. It had been a long road for the 57 year old Father of the Country, and former military commander of the improbable American cause of independence from Great Britain, the most powerful imperial force on Earth in the late 18th century.
This American Cincinnatus was named after the mythical ancient Roman Cincinnatus who had left the plough and his farm to lead his country in a time of trouble, ultimately restoring order and returning to his farm and citizenship. Washington of Virginia led his rag tag Continental Army from June 1775 to December 1783, and earned a historic victory before ceremoniously resigning his military command. When his adversary, King George III of Great Britain, heard the news of Washington’s resignation after the long War for Independence, he said, “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”
Consequently, Washington was a man posterity would call the young republic’s “indispensable man.” In an age that was extraordinary deep in terms of accomplished, historic leaders – Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Patrick Henry, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Marshall – every one of his peers recognized that the Revolutionary and Founding eras, were in fact the Age of Washington.
American schoolchildren need to know more about the basic history of and lessons from the American Revolution and War for Independence, including perhaps the greatest leader and hero the country has ever produced, George Washington. To do our small part to help the cause, we’re offering a variety of resources to help parents, teachers, schoolchildren, and citizens better celebrate the Fourth of July!