“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Thus wrote Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. The 13 British colonies in North America had been at war with Britain for over a year by June 1776. At the urging of John Adams, between the 11th and 28th of June, Thomas Jefferson had drafted the “Declaration of Independence” which was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4h, 1776. Adams went on to became the 2nd president of the US and Jefferson the 3rd. Curiously, both died on the same day — Independence day, 4th of July, 1826.
The US is a large country today with a population of over 300 million. The population of the United States in 1776 was only 4 million — or about 0.33 percent of India’s population today (take a guess before highlighting the preceding blank space).
Well, today evening I am going to be up in the Los Altos Hills watching the Independence Day fireworks in the Silicon Valley. Perhaps I will take my camera and post some pictures tomorrow. Happy 4th of July!!
PS: Did you know Swami Vivekanand passed away on a July 4th? July 4th, 1902.