On this day 244 years ago something amazing happened. A 33 year old farmer and scholar, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), wrote an essay that declared that the 13 colonies were independent from England. King George III (1738-1820) looked on this as nothing more than a rebellion that his troops would crush.
But Mr. Jefferson and others like him put their lives on the line. They argued that human rights were not given at the pleasure of the king, but instead human rights are given by God to everyone.
It hasn’t been an easy 244 years. For our first 89 years our country claimed that we are all equal while we held displaced Africans as slaves. Even when they were freed from their chains their lives were far from equal and it’s a fight that continues to this day.
Our 244th birthday recognizes the fact that we are led by a racist President who enjoys the support of many Americans who justify their racism by claiming victimhood.
But the good news is that our core values as Americans remain the same. We work hard, we innovate, we welcome, and we celebrate.
It wasn’t easy to celebrate our birthday during the Civil War but we did because we knew that Mr. Jefferson’s vision would win out. We can do it today.