HISTORY OF JAMES MADISON
James Madison has correctly been called “the Father of the Constitution,” and one might think that the Constitution went into effect on July 5, 1776, but this is not how it happened. The American Constitution didn’t go into effect until almost a decade and a half after the Declaration of Independence. How did this philosopher, diplomat, and Founding Father influence this? (more…)
We know this polymath as a writer, publisher, printer, merchant, scientist, moral philosopher, international diplomat, and inventor. Musically he invented the glass harmonica, but he also invented the Franklin stove and started the first lending library and fire brigade in Philadelphia.
He did experiments in electricity and developed the lightning rod.
Born on January 17, 1706*, in Boston, he was one of the earliest and oldest of the American Founding Fathers. He served as a lobbyist to England, was first Ambassador to France, and has been called “The First American.”
HISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY: JOHN ADAMS
Before John Adams became the first Vice President of the United States under George Washington, second President of the United States, the first resident of the White House, and writer of the Massachusetts State Constitution he had a role during the Revolutionary War period as one of the creators of the Declaration of Independence.
Committee of Five
“The Third President is the Muse of American life, the chief articulator of our national value system and our national self-identity. Jefferson was a man of almost unbelievable achievement: statesman, man of letters, architect, scientist, book collector, political strategist, and utopian visionary. But he is also a man of paradox: liberty-loving slaveholder, Indian-loving relocationist, publicly frugal and privately bankrupt, a constitutional conservative who bought the Louisiana Territory in 1803.”
HISTORY OF INDEPENDENCE DAY
Independence Day or the Fourth of July celebrates the adoption by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, of the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the severance of the allegiance of the American colonies to Great Britain. It is the greatest secular holiday in the United States, observed in all the states, territories, and dependencies.
Although it is assumed that the Continental Congress unanimously signed the document on the 4th of July, in fact not all delegates were present, and there were no signers at all. Here is what really happened.
As the US will soon celebrate their Independence Day, Canadians have a celebration of their own. Canada Day (Fête du Canada) celebrates the anniversary of July 1, 1867, when the three independent colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into a single dominion. On that date the British North American Act, known today as the Constitution Act, officially confederated Canada. While it was still a subject of the British Empire, Dominion Day as it was originally called (or Le Jour de la Confederation in French) marked this new beginning. It was renamed to Canada Day in 1982.
Canada Day is called “the birthday of Canada” but differs from the U.S. holiday in that it did not become separate from the British Empire until 1982 when it gained complete independence with the Constitution Act of 1982. And they didn’t have to fight a Revolutionary War. Nevertheless, Canada still enjoys its status in the British Commonwealth as a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with the British Queen as head of state. So they get a Queen and live in the New World, something that U.S. envies. We have created in her place a synthetic royalty: Hollywood stars.
HISTORY OF JULY
The month of July was renamed for Julius Caesar, who was born in that month. Before that, it was called Quintilis in Latin meaning the fifth month in the ancient Roman calendar. This was before January became the first month of the calendar year about the year 450 BC. We currently use the more recent Gregorian calendar — recent as in AD 1582 — which makes use of Anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord” counting from the birth of Jesus. As we’ve previously discussed, in this calendar Jesus was born curiously 4 to 6 years BC or “Before Christ.”
The Gregorian calendar was a reform of the Julian calendar which was itself a reform of the previous Roman calendar. The Julian calendar was introduced by Julius Caesar himself in 46 BC, where he added — probably after returning from an African military campaign in late Quntilis (July) — an additional 67 days by putting two intercalary months between November and December, as Cicero tells us at the time. This took care of some of the leap year problems. The Romans, after his death, renamed Quintilis to Iulius (July) in honor of his birth month.
On June 25, 1967, The Beatles released the song “All You Need Is Love.” At that time they participated in the Our World TV show which used the recently constructed satellite system and broadcast their performance across the globe. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr said later,
“It was the first worldwide satellite broadcast ever,”
With “All You Need Is Love” the Beatles released the anthem of flower power during the Summer of Love as I’ve written previously. It was broadcast live on TV in 24 countries to over 400 million viewers. The single was later included in the U.S. version of the album Magical Mystery Tour, and in the animated movie Yellow Submarine. (more…)
HISTORY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST DAY
The Feast of St. John the Baptist, or the Nativity of St John the Forerunner, sometimes called St. John the Baptist Day, is celebrated on June 24 in many places around the world, though no much in the United States, as we’ll see below. Celebration of the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist goes back at least a millennium and a half. At the Council of Agde it mentions the feast in 506 AD in its list of festivals. Most saints’ festivals are tied to their death, but John’s is an exception, being tied to his birth.
This famous painting of John the Baptist at left by Leonardo da Vinci, believed to be his last painting, hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Who was St. John the Baptist?
John the Baptizer (he wasn’t a member of the Baptist denomination) was a contemporary of Jesus and the son of Jesus’ mother’s sister Elizabeth, making him Jesus’ cousin. As he grew up he became a prophet in the tradition of Old Testament prophets. No prophet had been recorded since the time of Malachi some 400 years earlier. His ministry attracted large crowds and his message, in preparation of the coming of the Messiah, was:
“Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
He operated along the Jordan River in the province of Judea some 2,000 years ago. When people responded to his call for repentance he baptized them in the Jordan River. (more…)