John Adams dares to correct Thomas Jefferson’s grammar. John Hancock cracks wise about “fat” King George. Benjamin Franklin jokes about being hung for treason. These moments of levity are brief, as they are brought to a sudden halt when a letter from George Washington is delivered and read aloud. In it, Washington reports from New York of the grave conditions faced by the Continental Army and expresses no illusions about the war, which was imminent and certain. Washington invokes “providence” as his best hope and writes, poignantly, “dear god what brave men I shall lose before this business ends.”
This video clip is from the 1972 movie “1776″, based on the Broadway musical. I have loved this charming film since I was child. From a purely musical standpoint it isn’t noteworthy. But the excellent cast paired with Peter Stone’s screenplay makes for an immensely entertaining experience. And have you ever noticed that in films about American history they always cast a very good-looking actor to play Thomas Jefferson?
Happy Independence Day my fellow Americans. Remember always, and never take for granted, that our Founding Fathers risked their lives to ensure that they – and all of us – would never again have to bow down to kings. For the first time in history, the people of a nation would be citizens instead of subjects.
God bless us all.
Here’s Thomas Jefferson kicking ass, in the final paragraph of the Declaration of Indepence:
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — 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.