What Many Of Us Don’t Know About Our Declaration of Independence

richard henry leeOn July 2, 1776, The Lee Resolution (also known as “The Resolution for Independence”) was passed by the Second Continental Congress.  It formally declared our independence from Great Britain, King George III and his tyrannical reign over the colonies, and basically established our new country, which came to be known as the United States of America.
Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, submitted the resolution on June 7, however, some delegates were committed to follow earlier instructions regarding reconciliation with Britain. Due to this, on June 11, the Lee Resolution was postponed by a vote of seven colonies to five, with New York abstaining.
They did, however, form the “Committee of Five” to prepare an actual declaration of independence in case it should pass when voted upon.  John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman were appointed to that committee. Congress then recessed for 3 weeks.
Upon the completion of writing the declaration, and the end of the recess, it was brought to the floor of Congress. On July 1, following the weekend recess, the delegates began to discuss and debate its content, eliminating approximately twenty-five percent of the original text. The next day the Lee Resolution declaring the establishment of a new country was adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies, with New York not voting.
Committee_of_Five,_1776On July 4, 1776, Congress approved what was called the Declaration of Independence and then directed the Committee of Five to oversee the printing of the adopted document. The next day copies were distributed to key places and people throughout the Colonies where the text was followed by the words: “Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress, John Hancock, President. Attest. Charles Thomson, Secretary.”
On July 9 New York officially approved it, making it unanimous.  Therefore, on July 19 Congress ordered that the Declaration of Independence be “fairly engrossed on parchment, with the title and stile [sic] of ‘The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America,’ and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress.”
Signing was to occur on August 2, 1776, but all were not present on that date.  And two New York delegates did not sign; John Dickinson, who still wanted reconciliation, and Livingston, who felt it premature.
signing-of-declaration-independenceEventually, 56 delegates did sign the document, representing Connecticut (4), Delaware (3), Georgia (3), Maryland (4), Massachusetts Bay (5), New Hampshire (3), New Jersey (5), New York (4), North Carolina (3), Pennsylvania (9), Rhode Island (2), South Carolina (4) and Virginia (7).
It begins: The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, 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.
It goes into great detail justifying the independence by the then-Colonies listing a total of 27 of the most noted grievances against King George III.  The Declaration also asserts certain unalienable natural, and other legal rights, which also includes the right of revolution.
Their resolve was cast in stone, as it ends with this sentence: And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
In the end: nine signers died of wounds during the Revolutionary War; five were captured or imprisoned; wives, and children were killed, jailed, mistreated, or left penniless; twelve signers’ homes were burned to the ground; and, seventeen lost everything they owned.
Their honor remained intact – not one signer defected, they fought to the end. To victory.  To a new independent and free nation.
Thomas JeffersonAs the person who had written the bulk of the words, Jefferson became known as “the Principal Author of the Declaration of Independence.”  The original draft written by Jefferson is carefully preserved at our United States Library of Congress.  It is his complete original, which includes revisions that were made by Adams and Franklin, along with the author’s own notes of the changes that were made by Congress during debate.
The version that is most identified and regularly referred to as the original of the Declaration is the signed copy on permanent display at our National Archives, in Washington, D.C.
The Declaration of Independence is, indeed, one of the most treasured documents ever written.
Happy Independence Day, America!!!

In Search of Liberty – An EduDramedy Movie

An Edu–what??  An Educational Dramatic Comedy, a full-length motion picture that not only educates but is highly entertaining.  It is so unique that the term – EduDramedy™ – had to be coined.

IC Liberty Films LLC is an independent movie marketing and distribution company founded by producer and director Norm Novitsky and the first film being distributed in this newly developed genre is In Search of Liberty.

In the family-friendly movie, a captivating statesman from America’s past takes a modern-day family on a series of wild adventures.  With a spicy mix of humor, magic and logic, he opens their eyes to the origins and importance of the U.S. Constitution, the degree to which it is under attack today and what can and must be done to save it.

Key aspects of the Constitution are clearly outlined and important Amendments—such as those guaranteeing freedom of religion and speech, the right to bear arms, warrants for search and seizure, and more—are shown to be vital in everyday life.

An ensemble cast of veteran and new talent from stage, film, television and lifestyle entertainment bring to life this family-friendly educational adventure about the U.S. Constitution.

The film features Jimmy Hagar, accomplished stage, TV and movie actor; Bobby Deen, a familiar face on numerous cooking shows and the son of American celebrity chef Paula Deen; Karen Boles, publisher and talented movie, TV and voiceover actress; and Simone Griffeth, who starred alongside David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone in “Death Race 2000.”  In addition, brother and sister Kayla and Tyler Huth, of TV’s “Rays Rookies” and “Manhunt Unibomber” respectively, and who both appear in “No Place in this World,” have starring roles.

The movie is available on BluRay, DVD and Digital HD.

Visit In Search of Liberty for your copy today!

Over For Now.

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LeBron James and Education

Despite anyone else’s personal opinions about the man’s performance and decisions on the basketball court and his balling life and career, I know of no better high-profile role model for youth (and adults) in the sports or entertainment professions than LeBron James.

This multi-award-winning Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the National Basketball Association (NBA) was drafted after his unprecedented third selection to the All-USA first team high school hoops squad in 2003.  His pro career began and he won Rookie of the Year, showing the world his dedication to the game.

Two years later he established The LeBron James Family Foundation that initially held a bike-a-thon to raise money for various philanthropic activities.  The Foundation expanded their bike-a-thon to become the Wheels for Education (WFE) program and include an academic piece. The paid and volunteer staff have assisted hundreds of students achieve a better life, especially through the “I Promise” aspect of the program.

Each year, LeBron and his Foundation select third grade students to become members of WFE. They start their year with a two-week technology camp co-sponsored by the Akron After School program and the Foundation.  During the academic year, students receive support, encouragement and whatever intervention is needed.  But it doesn’t end there.  Assistance continues to their high school graduation.

However, he decided that it did not end there.

Earlier this year, LeBron’s Foundation made the announcement that the University of Akron (UA) and he, through the Foundation, would provide scholarships to as many as 2,300 students to the university beginning in 2021.

That is quite a commitment and says much about the man.

In addition, UA established the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education where UA President Scott Scarborough said, “You can come to LeBron’s college and become a teacher, help kids succeed in life.”

As to the man himself and his relationship to the WFE students … here is an example of a message he sends to them, this portion of one is from Sept 29, 2015, titled “On Time”:

“How has school been going? Is everyone arriving to school and class ON TIME? Remember that’s a big part of our PROMISE. Early is on-time, on-time is late, and late is… you don’t want me to find out you’re late!!!

“It’s very important to me that you are setting the right example for my Wheels for Ed kids. They are looking up to you. If you’re doing the right thing, they’ll do the right thing.

“Continue to set the example for your classmates.

“Your friend,

“LeBron”

While I am definitely aware of many who do good works, it would be great to see more athletes and celebrities serve others with undertakings of this size and scope.

Over For Now.

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Stars Speak For Nature

Almost a year ago Conservation International launched an awareness campaign featuring some of the world’s best-known celebrities speaking as nature (and elements thereof) with the goal of educating one and all about the need to take care of our planet.

The concept is great, the messages are fabulous and the imagery is stunning (and best viewed in HD full-screen).


People can argue all day long about climate change and wonder if we Humans have really done this, or does it really exist. But, there are simple truths. Chief among them is that Humans do indeed pollute our home, our planet, our Earth.


Take a look around. The burger wrapper in the street. An oil spill off the coast. The mess of paint on the ground. The soot captured in the atmosphere. The raped forests which are not replenished. Radiation spills. On and on and on. If one opens one’s eyes one can see what we Humans are doing to the home on which we all live.

Whether or not one financially supports this type of cause, as an individual it really does not take much to become more aware of and about the environment and to effectively do something about it and to then get others to help. There are ideas at the Conservation International site aptly named Nature is Speaking. There you can also watch the other videos , download incredible animated posters for your desktop, and more.

There is only one Planet Earth and it is up to each one of us to take care of it.

Yosemite Valley - Half Dome
Yosemite Valley – Half Dome

After all, it is a place of great beauty and incredible wonder.

Over For Now.

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