Lyndon Johnson signs Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964

On this day in 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the Civil Rights Act. The Act prohibited racial discrimination in education and employment and outlawed racial segregation in public places. Further, it paved the way for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In his Remarks upon Signing the Civil Rights Act, President Johnson’s opening and closing comments are as relevant on this July 2 as they were on that July 2:

“One hundred and eighty-eight years ago this week a small band of valiant men began a long struggle for freedom. They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor not only to found a nation, but to forge an ideal of freedom—not only for political independence, but for personal liberty—not only to eliminate foreign rule, but to establish the rule of justice in the affairs of men.”

“Let us close the springs of racial poison. Let us pray for wise and understanding hearts. Let us lay aside irrelevant differences and make our Nation whole. Let us hasten that day when our unmeasured strength and our unbounded spirit will be free to do the great works ordained for this Nation by the just and wise God who is the Father of us all.”

 

Lyndon Johnson signs Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964

 

John Adams July 2nd

On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopts the resolution for independence from Great Britain. Of course, Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. Twelve of the thirteen colonial delegations vote unanimously, with New York abstaining.

Previously, in early June, Congress appointed a committee consisting of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson to draft that declaration of independence. Then, the committee presented it to Congress on June 28, 1776.

Our Lost Founding will ‘unfurl’ the Declaration in Our July 4th post.

Illuminations…

The eventual second president John Adams wrote this of July 2nd, to his beloved wife Abigail:

“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.”

He continues:

“You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.” (emphasis added)

John Adams July 2nd

 

Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg address

On this day in 1863, the largest military conflict in North American history begins when Union and Confederate forces collide at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The epic battle lasted three days and Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia retreated to Virginia.

Gettysburg Address

So, below is the full text of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. This version is inscribed in the South Chamber of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers bought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work, which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. And that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.”

Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg address

 

Lincoln Bible

That famous address makes clear Abraham Lincoln’s reverence for God and His Word. This is amplified by the quote that inspired Our “Lincoln Bible” t-shirt:

“In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

 

George Washington Invisible Hand main

On this day in 1775, following a debate lasting several days, the Continental Congress drafts the Articles of War. The Articles explained that an “armed force be raised… for the express purpose of securing and defending these Colonies” from the “unconstitutional and oppressive acts of the British.”

The sixty-nine Articles outlined the Rules and Regulations for governing the conduct of the Continental Army. The first Article stated that “every officer… and every soldier who shall serve in the Continental Army, shall… subscribe these rules and regulations.”

Diligent and Divine

So, here’s Article II, essentially the first rule to which to subscribe:

Art. II. It is earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers, diligently to attend Divine Service; and all officers and soldiers who shall behave indecently or irreverently at any place of Divine Worship, shall, if commissioned officers, be brought before a court-martial, there to be publicly and severely reprimanded by the President;

So, the first rule for the Continental Army was basically to go to church.

A few weeks prior, George Washington was unanimously selected by the second Continental Congress as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The role of faith in the service and formation of Our country was not lost on Washington. This is evidenced by the quote from his first Inaugural Address that inspired Our t-shirt design:

“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the People of the United States.”

George Washington

The first Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army

 

Patrick Henry Give me Liberty

On this day in 1776, the Constitution of Virginia is adopted, and Patrick Henry, who helped write it, was elected governor, and served for five non-consecutive terms.

Here is section 16 of that, and the current version of the Constitution:
“SEC. 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.”

“But as for me…”

Lastly, here are a few portions of the Patrick Henry “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!” speech from the year prior:

“Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
… If we wish to be free…we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!
Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations.
… Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

LorD

President James Madison

On this day in 1836, James Madison, the two-term fourth president of the United States dies at age 85.

Madison, along with Alexander Hamilton, was a primary author of the Federalist Papers. In addition, he was a key drafter of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the recorder of the Constitutional Convention. As a result, James Madison is known as the “Father of the Constitution.”

For all these towering achievements, Madison stood at just 5’4″ tall. That’s Our kind of guy.

Greater obligations

James Madison echoed the sentiment of the George Washington quote which inspired our George Washington shirt with this quote from his Proclamation 20 – Recommending a Day of Public Thanksgiving for Peace from March 4, 1815:

“No people ought to feel greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of Events and of the Destiny of Nations than the people of the United States.”

 

President James Madison

Harry Truman Korea

On this day in 1950, President Harry Truman “[orders] United States air and sea forces to give the Korean Government troops cover and support.”

He stated that “The attack upon Korea makes it plain beyond all doubt that communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and war.

In October of that same year, he remarked: “We hate war, but we love our liberties. We will not see them destroyed.”

Precepts and Problems

Below are some excerpts from his speech at a Conference of the Federal Council of Churches on March 6th, 1946. From those words, it is clear that he would authorize armed forces in the face of invasion.

“Dictatorship, by whatever name, is rounded on the doctrine that the individual amounts to nothing; that the State is the only thing that counts; and that men and women and children were put on earth solely for the purpose of serving the State.
The right of every human being to live in dignity and freedom, the right to worship his God in his own way, the right to fix his own relationship to his fellow men and to his Creator–these again have been saved for mankind.
… Now that we have preserved our freedom of conscience and religion, our right to live by a decent moral and spiritual code of our own choosing, let us make full use of that freedom. Let us make use of it to save a world which is beset by so many threats of new conflicts, new terror, and new destruction.”

He added: “If men and nations would but live by the precepts of the ancient prophets and the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, problems which now seem so difficult would soon disappear.

That is timeless teaching.

 

Harry Truman Korea

 

Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God

On this day in 1788, Virginia becomes the tenth state to ratify the Constitution. Thus, Virginia becomes the tenth state in the union.

The Virginia state seal was created in 1776. The motto on the obverse of the Virginia seal is Sic semper tyrannis, which translates to Thus always to tyrants. This is clear reference to the declaration of independence from Great Britain.

The motto is similar a motto that was likely suggested by Benjamin Franklin (but not used) for the Great Seal of the United States: Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. This motto was however used by Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian, as one of his own personal seals (not pictured), as well as for a medal (pictured below) commissioned by Jefferson as governor of Virginia.

Virginia State seal

Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, from the Constitution of Virginia:
Section 16. Free exercise of religion; no establishment of religion.
That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.

Eight Presidents

Virginia is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents. This lofty list includes George Washington, James Madison, James Monroe, Zachary Taylor, Woodrow Wilson, John Tyler, William Henry Harrison. Finally, of course, the third president, Thomas Jefferson, whose personal seal and the cemetery gate at his beloved home Monticello are the inspiration for Our “Rebellion/Obedience: t-shirt.

Thomas Jefferson TJ

 

Matthew Thornton

On this day in 1803, Patriot, physician, surgeon, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Matthew Thornton dies at age 89. Thornton was also a New Hampshire delegate to the second Continental Congress. Additionally, he was the President of the five man committee that drafted the first New Hampshire constitution. In fact, New Hampshire was the first of the thirteen states to establish a constitution.

The Only Foundation

Back in 1775, as the newly elected President of the New Hampshire Provincial Congress,  Matthew Thornton wrote a letter To the Inhabitants of the Colony of New Hampshire. Here are a few excerpts:

Friends and Brethren: You must all be sensible that the affairs of America have at length come to a very affecting and alarming crisis.

Duty to God, to ourselves, to Posterity, enforced by the cries of slaughtered Innocents, have urged us to take up Arms in our Defense. … We would therefore recommend to the Colony at large to cultivate that Christian Union, Harmony and tender affection which is the only foundation upon which our invaluable privileges can rest with any security, or our public measures be pursued with the least prospect of success.

… In a word, we seriously and earnestly recommend the practice of that pure and undefiled religion which embalmed the memory of our pious ancestors, as that alone upon which we can build a solid hope and confidence in the Divine protection and favor, without whose blessing all the measures of safety we have or can propose will end in our shame and disappointment.”

Matthew Thornton

 

US Great Seal Reverse

On this day in 1782, Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States. Adoption came six years after the Continental Congress appointed the original committee to design a seal. Congress appointed the original committee just a few hours after they adopted the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1776.

The Obverse

US Great Seal Obverse
E Pluribus Unum, Latin for Out of Many, One, was once a de facto motto of the United States. However, it was never codified into law. Thus, In God We Trust is the official national motto.
Our Lost Founding suggests that perhaps the two go hand in hand.

The Reverse

US Great Seal Reverse

Signals signified

Founding Father and Patriot Charles Thomson’s “Remarks and Explanation” are the only official comments about the symbolism and the meaning of the Great Seal. Here is the portion regarding The Reverse:

“The pyramid signifies Strength and Duration: The Eye over it & the Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favour of the American cause. The date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence and the words under it signify the beginning of the new American Æra, which commences from that date.–” (emphasis added)

“The Motto” Annuit Cœptis translates to (Providence) favors our undertakings.

Lastly, Thomson, also a Greek scholar, spent his final years working on an English translation of the Bible.

Great Seal Thomson Report Page 2Great Seal Thomson Report Page 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statue of Liberty Parade

On this day in 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrives at Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor. It would not be formally dedicated until October 28, 1886.

Lady Liberty’s official name is Liberty Enlightening the World. Her form is based on Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty. The statue was designed to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence.

Inscribed

She holds in her left hand a tabula ansata with the inscription JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776).

As she holds that votive tablet, and as it states in the Declaration of Independence, 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.”

 

Statue of Liberty Parade