California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

House ResolutionNo. 9

Introduced by Assembly Member Irwin

February 24, 2015

House Resolution No. 9—Relative to the 4th of July .

P1    1WHEREAS, July 4, 2015, marks the 239th anniversary of the
2signing of the Declaration of Independence, and by the adoption
3of that document -- formally entitled, “The unanimous Declaration
4of the thirteen United States of America” -- the nation we today
5know as the United States of America officially came into being,
6an occasion forever memorialized by President Abraham Lincoln
7in the words of his Gettysburg Address as when “... our fathers
8brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty,
9and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”;

11WHEREAS, On June 7, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
12at a location today known as Independence Hall, Virginia delegate
13Richard Henry Lee brought the following resolution before the
14Second Continental Congress of the United Colonies: “Resolved,
15That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and
16independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to
17the British Crown, and that all political connection between them
18and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved
19... .”; and

20WHEREAS, On June 8, 1776, Lee’s resolution was referred to
21a committee of the whole of the Continental Congress, at which
22time they spent most of that day, as well as June 10, debating
23independence; and

P2    1WHEREAS, On June 11, 1776, a “Committee of Five” -- with
2Thomas Jefferson of Virginia being picked unanimously as its first
3member, and also including John Adams of Massachusetts,
4Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert R. Livingston of New
5York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut -- was charged with
6drafting a declaration of independence for consideration by the
7Continental Congress; and

8WHEREAS, The members of the “Committee of Five” assigned
9Jefferson the task of producing a draft declaration, and on June
1028, 1776, he produced a draft that, with minor changes by the
11committee members, was forwarded to the Congress for its further
12consideration; and

13WHEREAS, On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress
14adopted the Lee resolution upon the affirmative vote of 12 of the
1513 colonial delegations, an occasion that delegate and future
16President John Adams detailed to his wife Abigail in a letter written
17July 3, 1776, as follows: “Yesterday the greatest Question was
18decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps,
19never was or will be decided among Men ... .”; and

20WHEREAS, On July 4, 1776, after further debate and changes
21to the committee document, the Continental Congress adopted the
22Declaration of Independence establishing the United States of
23America, to which John Hancock that day affixed his signature,
24with 55 other delegates representing the 13 colonies -- now states
25of the newly created nation -- signing the declaration within the
26next several weeks; and

27WHEREAS, July 4 is a day unlike any other -- in the history
28of the United States of America, and indeed, the world -- in that
29not only is it the day that an infant nation formally defied the most
30powerful empire on earth in a quest for freedom, liberty, and
31independence, but even more importantly because on that day this
32new nation declared as a “self-evident truth” -- known and
33knowable to all persons at all times in all places throughout the
34world -- the radical notion that “all men are created equal ...
35endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that
36among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”; and

37WHEREAS, Since its adoption and bold pronouncement more
38than two centuries ago, the Declaration of Independence and the
39principles which animate that timeless document have inspired
40literally billions of persons around the world to pursue freedom in
P3    1their own nation, for themselves and their own loved ones, and for
2their fellow men and women, and remain today an imperfectly
3unrealized goal to which all Americans and all who cherish liberty
4must rededicate themselves, just as the drafters and signers of the
5Declaration of Independence did by declaring: “with a firm reliance
6on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge[d] to
7each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor”; and

8WHEREAS, On this and every July Fourth, it is both proper
9and fitting that the institutions of California government, and
10indeed all Californians, express heartfelt gratitude and indebtedness
11to those men and women who have served in the Armed Forces
12of the United States, and in particular to those who have suffered
13the injuries of battle and who have made the ultimate sacrifice in
14protecting freedom and liberty around the world, recalling the
15words of President Abraham Lincoln that, as a result of their
16profound sacrifice, “... this nation, under God, shall have a new
17birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the
18people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”; now,
19therefore, be it

20Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the
21Assembly of the State of California does -- and intends to every
22year immediately preceding the 4th of July -- take this opportunity
23to recognize and celebrate July 4, 2015, and the 239th anniversary
24of the birth of our great nation and the signing of the Declaration
25of Independence that this day represents; and be it further

26Resolved, That the Assembly of the State of California calls
27upon all the people of the great State of California, and the United
28States of America, to take the opportunity of the 4th of July holiday
29to obtain a greater knowledge and understanding of the facts and
30circumstances that compelled the 13 original colonies to declare
31their independence, and of the timeless principles of liberty,
32equality, and self-determination that rest at the heart of the
33Declaration of Independence; and be it further

34Resolved, That the Assembly of the State of California, on behalf
35of a grateful citizenry, hereby expresses its heartfelt thanks,
36appreciation, and prayers to all who have served -- and who
37currently serve -- in the Armed Forces of the United States, in
38recognition of the countless sacrifices and the indispensable role
39these brave men and women have played even before the founding
40of our nation on July 4, 1776, in preserving, protecting, and
P4    1defending the freedoms and liberties of all Americans, and
2expanding freedom throughout the world; and be it further

3Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly shall make
4available suitable copies of this resolution for distribution by
5Members of the Assembly of the State of California.