The Unknown Story Behind the Declaration of Independence

After the French and Indian War, King George III was in dire need of cash, so he put a tax on everything the colonists bought.  The perceptive colonists were more than a little bitter, for they knew that the war could have been easily financed if the king would have just given up his silk Hugo Boss underwear.  So they decided to revolt.

The patriots gathered together to discuss their possible options. 

“I know,” said Harry, an enthusiastic yet dim-witted silversmith.  “Let’s dress up like clowns and dump sugar into the Charles River!”

“How about if we dump everyone with idiotic ideas into the Charles River?” responded Sam Adams.

Everyone else was afraid to present their ideas, so Sam introduced the famous idea of dressing up as Native Americans and throwing tea into the Boston Harbor.  The patriots thought he was brilliant and later named a beer after him. 

The king was incensed when he heard about the Boston Tea Party.  Being the quintessential Anglophile, he expected to be invited to any and all tea parties.  He passed the Stamp Act, which admittedly does seem a fitting response to not being invited to a tea party.  The colonists’ outrage was then perfectly expressed by Thomas Paine in his pamphlet Common Sense, originally published under the working title Duh!, which basically stated that any colonist who did not want to revolt against the king was an egghead.

This time the king’s feathers were really ruffled, and he decided to pass the Not So Bad Acts.  At the behest of his PR manager, he later changed the name to the Intolerable Acts, in order to toughen up his image. 

One fateful night Brown Beauty, Paul Revere’s horse, got into his owner’s leftover Boston baked beans.  Paul was kept up all night by Brown Beauty’s terrible gastrointestinal problems,  so he had to take him out for a midnight run.  Paul was relieved to hear that the Redcoats were coming, so he could actually have a legitimate excuse for waking up the villagers.  

After the skirmishes in Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress met in Independence Hall in Philadelphia.  They chose this building for its fortunate name, deciding against the more ominously titled Treason Tavern down the street.  Congress recognized the need to choose a leader for the colonial troops.  No one really wanted the job, so when George Washington slept in that morning, they elected him.

The war waged on, and Washington proved to be a fearless leader.  He and his troops patiently stood still for hours during several battle scenes to assist artists with their production of famous oil paintings. 

In the meantime, Congress decided to write the Declaration of Independence, since King George refused to meet them for a golf summit to hash out their differences.  Five men were chosen to work on the document, but after several brutal rounds of Rock-Paper-Scissors, the responsibility was left to Thomas Jefferson.  They waited for the hottest days of the year, because they knew that Jefferson’s writing talent really flourished during heat-induced hallucinations.  They locked him in a room for two weeks, and only interrupted to nag him.

“C’mon, Tom.  We have to have this done in time for the Fourth of July fireworks and parade.”

“I think “chase of cheerfulness” sounds better than ‘pursuit of happiness.'”

…and so on.

Congress then had the nerve to debate the document for almost three days, but finally relented because Tom had a quill pen and knew how to use it. 

The Declaration was read aloud on July 8, and the crowds went wild.  They were thrilled with their new independence, but they were also exhausted from waiting four whole days for the fireworks.

The war ended several years later, and the grateful Americans elected Washington as their first President, in order to ensure that future presidents would always have someone to blame for their “inherited” problems. 

Today we should reflect on these events with thankfulness…even if the details do seem a little fuzzy.

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