Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day 2014

Whilst the last members were signing [the Constitution], Doctor Franklin, looking towards the Presidents chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to be painted, observed to a few members near him, that painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art, a rising, from a setting, sun.  I have, said he, often and often, in the course of the session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the President, without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting; but now at length, I have the happiness to know, that it is a rising, and not a setting sun.
James Madison quoting BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, debates in the Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 17, 1787. James Madison, Journal of the Federal Convention, ed. E. H. Scott, p. 763

The "Rising Sun" chair used by George Washington during
 the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia

We hope you and your family have a happy Independence Day. If you value your freedom to celebrate this day, do all in your power to ensure that our great American experiment brings to the world all the expectations of a rising sun.  Let freedom ring!

Independence Day postcard ca. 1905 


Quotation and chair photos, Independence National Historical Park
Liberty Bell postcard, family archives

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