The Founding Documents – the Bill of Rights edition…

July 12, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

I recently read about a “man on the street survey” where people were asked to choose one of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights from a list of 4 options. The options were: The right to vote, the right to healthcare, the right to a public education and the right to trial by a jury of your peers. Sadly, most of those interviewed did not pick the correct one. Even worse, most picked either the right to healthcare or the right to a public education. I quickly sent a group text to my adult children and asked them the same question and then awaited their responses with a bit of trepidation. Thankfully, my concern was unfounded.

One of the reasons we at RareNewspapers.com love what we do is that we feel as if we are helping to keep the heart of our country alive by protecting authentic papers containing real-time (contemporary) reports regarding our founding documents such as the Bill of Rights.  The portion shown below was printed in THE PENNSYLVANIA PACKET & DAILY ADVERTISER, Philadelphia (PA), October 6, 1789. Newspapers like these need to be cherished and their message intentionally disseminated to all generations so future surveys are a bit more encouraging. Thanks in advance.

Sometimes you just know what it means – The Spirit of ’76…

July 4, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

Sometimes you hear a word or a phrase and even though you can’t clearly give a written definition, you just have a gut feeling of what it means. Earlier today, when I was looking at a Picture and Magazine section from a Chicago Sunday Tribune, July 4, 1926, I breezed by the caption of the front-page image… The Spirit of ’76. After a moment, I found my mind wasn’t so much thinking of what that phrase meant, but instead, I was struck by the emotions which had been stirred… pride (in a good way as my mother would say), determination & a deep sense of purpose. Wanting to see if the phrase, “The Spirit of ’76” had a clear definition, I went to Wikipedia and found the following…

“The Spirit of ’76 is a sentiment explored by Thomas Jefferson. According to the text published at Monticello, “The principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence promised to lead America—and other nations on the globe—into a new era of freedom. The revolution begun by Americans on July 4, 1776, would never end. It would inspire all peoples living under the burden of oppression and ignorance to open their eyes to the rights of mankind, to overturn the power of tyrants, and to declare the triumph of equality over inequality.”

Thomas Jewett wrote that at the time of the American Revolution, there was “an intangible something that is known as the ‘Spirit of ’76.’ This spirit was personified by the beliefs and actions of that almost mythical group known as the Founding Fathers and is perhaps best exemplified by Thomas Jefferson.”

Jefferson and the Second Continental Congress believed the Spirit of ’76 “included the ‘self-evident’ truths of being ‘created equal’ and being ‘endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights’ including ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'” ~ Wiki

Hmmmm… “an intangible something”. I would agree this spirit is hard to completely capture with words, but it can certainly be understood with a feeling, a picture, or a flag, and it is certainly a “spirit” we need in abundance today.