The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

July 2nd ... Come Celebrate Independence @ the MHS

Writing to his wife Abigail on 3 July 1776 John Adams noted:

The Second Day of 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 Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

Many would argue that Adams had it right, and we -- celebrating on the 4th -- have it wrong.  The Second Continental Congress actually voted to declare our independence from Britain on July 2nd, making Saturday the anniversary of our true Independence Day. 

If you are in Boston on Saturday and are looking for something special to do, plan on stopping by the MHS to see John Adams' letter and a number of other special documents relating to America's independence on display in our exhibition hall.

In addition to Adams' letter visitors to the MHS can view a manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence in the hand of Thomas Jefferson and a twentieth-century facsimile of John Dunlap's printing -- the first printing -- of the Declaration of Independence by the Lakeside Press.  The original broadside was completed by Dunlap, the official printer for the Congress, in the early morning of 5 July 1776, after which it was immediately disseminated throughout the colonies.

The exhibition halls will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday and are free and open to the public.  Call the MHS at 617-536-1608 if you have questions about planning your visit.

If you cannot visit the MHS in person on Saturday, be sure to explore the online display of many of your Indepedence Day related holdings





permalink | Published: Friday, 1 July, 2011, 10:00 AM


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