July 3, 2010
Fun Stuff About The Revolution and the 4th of July Holiday
On this Fourth of July weekend, here are some interesting holiday-related notes:
Slate announces the winners of its contest to rewrite the Declaration of Independence in a single tweet. Read them here as hilarity ensues. I doubt that NARA will preserve these in addition to the real thing.
The Library of Congress used hyperspectral imaging on Thomas Jefferson's rough draft of the Declaration of Independence to see what word appeared in a smudge that was a correction in the text. It was "subjects," which was rejected in favor of the word "citizens." The corrected sentence did not make it into the final version. More on this is available from the LOC's press release. Another online exhibit, Creating the United States, has a lot more on the history of the Declaration. NARA has its own exhibit on the Declaration, here, including downloads of high resolution images.
The History Channel has its own exhibit covering Independence Day. There are 12 videos and other factual information about the history of the holiday, the creation of the Declaration, and other aspects of the Revolution. It's a nice change of pace from the Channels mania for aliens and apocalyptic predictions. I would not have known that July 3rd marked the end of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 if I hadn't visited the page. A high resolution copy of Lee's Battle Map is at NARA.
Not to be outdone, the Military Channel has its own features on the Revolution, and why July 2nd should be the real Independence Day. Other fun facts include George Washington having lost more battles than he won, and the phrase "Keep me posted," comes from the revolution era. [MG]