Let's Talk with Debra H. Goldstein

July 4th – How Could I Ignore Writing About Independence Day

July 4, 2024
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The Fourth of July means no mail, work, legal proceedings, or banking, as well as yes to parades, fireworks, and the eating of barbecue and watermelon. This U.S. federal holiday, officially called Independence Day, celebrates the Second Continental Congress’s 1776 ratification of the Declaration of Independence, which established the United States of America.

The Declaration of Independence’s creation is comparable to the path that any author’s final work takes. Although five men, known as the Committee of Five, debated what should be in the document, the actual writing was the sole responsibility of Thomas Jefferson over a seventeen-day period. Once he finished, his editors, known as Congress, after much debate, provided him with formal edits. The document with its revisions was approved by Congress on July 4. Hence, the date of the federal holiday.

Although no royalties were paid to Jefferson for his work, the process was later memorialized into a musical project, 1776, that did produce royalties. I was lucky enough to see the original Broadway production the week it opened in 1969 and the week it closed in 1972. Although I haven’t seen the more recent Broadway revivals of the show, I have watched the movie version and had an opportunity to catch the show in London in 1970. As much as I love the show (one of my top five favorites), the London version made me truly reflect on the meaning of Independence Day.

It was my first night in London with a group of high school students. We wanted to see a show and I convinced a few that we should see 1776. The last tickets available were standing room only at the very back of the orchestra seating. We took them. The balcony was filled with American college students on a program that allowed them to do a term abroad. What I remember most is that every time there was a negative comedic reference to King George or England’s control of the colonies, the balcony roared with laughter. When the joke was on the colonies and the congressional delegates, the previously silent orchestra level laughed loudly while there was no sound from the balcony. Although I already understood the plot line of the show, that July night in London made clear to me the significance of Independence Day and the bravery behind the Declaration that was signed.

So, today is July 4th. With how I feel about the Declaration of Independence, how could I ignore writing about Independence Day?

Tell me, how will you spend today?

While you’re here, check out our July Contest with two full length books going to one person. The contest runs from July 1-22, so enter right away! CLICK HERE for the contest.

Author Debra H. Goldstein writes the Sarah Blair Mysteries. Sarah declares her independence from her ex and begins her life anew as an amateur sleuth in this cozy mystery series. Visit Debra’s WEBSITE

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24 thoughts on “July 4th – How Could I Ignore Writing About Independence Day

  1. This is really interesting…. I appreciate the reminder of the origin of the 4th of July holiday. I’ve never heard of the play 1776, but I would love to see it if I ever have the chance!

  2. Happy 4th! We’re having lunch with our grandson visiting from NYC, then off to the gym. Yes, we live a wild and crazy life.

  3. We’ve started with breakfast at the Frog Pond.I wore my new patriotic t-shirt–red with a rhinestone American Flag on the front!

  4. Our newspaper publishes the Declaration every July 4th and I read it to remind me of all that it stands for. This year, there were tears in my eyes when I finished. As for us, the routine is seeing a baseball game and eating popcorn. Later, the park across the street performs the 1812 Overture (cannons included) with fireworks after.

  5. We are having Chinese food for dinner (we have barbeque all the time) then watching fireworks. Our city fireworks are at the Sundial Bridge, and there are so many spots to see them from that we haven’t decided which place to go to yet!

  6. Happy July 4th! I’ll probably pop out after dark to see the neighbors’ fireworks (we’re semi-country out here so people tend to ignore the “no fireworks” regulations 😛 ).

  7. We went to my sister and brother in law’s house for a July 4th celebration and Birthday celebration for my brother-in-law.

  8. The Fourth of July has always been a different holiday for me. First, I was in Drum Corps from age 9 until 21 and the Fourth always meant parades, competitions and the start of ‘Tour’. Secondly, I was a Forest Fire Warden from 1990-2019. Fireworks had a totally different meaning for us, fires here, there and everywhere. Since retiring from Forest fire, I still tend to see the dangers of fireworks, but can also start to see the beauty again. Picnics are a totally enjoyable addition and I love the history of the holiday as my family fought in the Revolutionary War. I hope all had a spectacular holiday!

  9. I thought I’d responded earlier, but I guess it didn’t go through. I had a relaxing 4th. First there was a zoom meeting with critique partners, then lunch, and binging on movies. We saw fireworks from our front porch. No bugs, no strangers, just right for me.

  10. My hubby marched in our town parade. I spent the day cooking to get ready for our cookout that we held on July 6th, including fireworks.

  11. Hoping everyone had a great 4th of July!
    We stayed home and watched the Fireworks from our house.🥰

  12. We actually decided to stay home and not fight the heat and crowds. We watched a few documentaries on American history.

  13. Today is my birthday and I’m going out to dinner with family; I chose a Mexican restaurant this year because I wanted something fun and low key instead of fancy. For the 4th of July I hung a beautiful patriotic wreath on my front door, I dressed in red, white and blue and thanked the brave men and women who fought and fight everyday to keep our country safe. God Bless the USA!

  14. I hope everyone has a fun, safe and cool July 4th! We didn’t do much as we knew that the traffic would be terrible, and people would be everywhere! I stayed home reading with my furry reading buddy and had a relaxing day. Hubby barbeques some yummy chicken thighs for a delicious dinner!

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