December 16, 1773, three ships loaded with tea stood in the Boston Harbor. They had been standing unloaded for days. The citizens of Boston were refusing to let the tea come upon Massachusetts's soil, thereby denying that the King of England had a right to tax the people of Massachusetts.
September 5, 1773 – Events had reached a peak and communications between England and her colonies were at a stand still. The king was not listening, and the colonies came together for their First Continental Congress, in Philadelphia. The majority of the delegates had not given any thought to separating themselves from the mother country. After all, they were British citizens, subjects of the crown, and many of them were proud of it.
April 18, 1775 – Tempers had risen. Warrants were out for the arrest of John Hancock and Samuel Adams. The two battles, now known as the Battle of Lexington and Concord, had begun. In the darkness of the night, one could hear the cry of one lone citizen as he rode through the night shouting out his warning. Patrick Henry, whose most famous words, Give me liberty or give me death, spoken at the Continental Congress, would go down into history.
July 4, 1776 - The stage is set. Philadelphia is the city, and twelve colonies declare their independence from their homeland, the country of their birth. The thirteenth colony would follow two weeks later. The Declaration of Independence, which was written by Thomas Jefferson, was influenced heavily by one of the greatest political philosophers of England, John Locke, who was a proponent of the natural or the inalienable rights of all men.
Today is the fourth of July, and Americans of all nationalities and colors everywhere are celebrating, whether they are out of school, in retirement, off from work, or working. Everyone celebrates, even if only for a few hours. However, let us not forget that the enactment of the Declaration of Independence has taken years to become a living instrument, which guarantees freedom for all people in our nation.
A brutal and devastating Civil War, which ended in 1865, brought about the actuality that the American Negro was also endowed with the same inalienable rights, as the former colonists who came from all parts of Western Europe.
Fifty-nine years later, in 1924, The United States of America finally granted U.S. citizenship to all Native American Indians. However, the Bill of Rights, which is known as the Indian Civil Rights acts, was first passed in 1968––one year after the Civil Rights act of 1967 for the nationality now known as Afro-American.
America celebrates and the people of America should, but let us not forget the past and the Native Indians who kept many of the colonists alive during the bitter five year war for independence, nor let us forget the Afro-Americans who laid down their lives for the independence of a country that was not their own.
The men and women, who died during these times, died in hope for a freedom they had not yet received, which is being enjoyed today by those they left behind.
Happy Birthday United States of America, and may you continue to be the gateway for people who seek a home country to exercise their inalienable rights to be respected as men and women, who can attain whatever their talents allow them to be.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless,
Tempest-tossed to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
By Emma Lazarus