Thanks to my good friend Arnie Kuenn for reminding Twitterdom today that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day 184 years ago today – July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
These two great leaders, who participated in the founding of our nation, became bitter political rivals, but reconciled and became best of friends in their later years. Once can only imagine that this friendship survived their mortal passing and continued as then stepped forward together into eternity.
Thank you John and Thomas for your separate and joint roles in founding and leading our great nation.
I stumbled across the website for the Jack Miller Center on Thanksgiving day. I am impressed with the Center’s statement of objectives:
The Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History, a nonprofit, nonsectarian, nonpartisan, educational organization, works with educators in response to requests for resources to strengthen the teaching of America’s founding principles and history. …
The goal of the Miller Center is to ensure that students receive the best possible education and are prepared to be good stewards of our nation’s freedoms and the free institutions that protect all Americans’ liberties.
I am convinced that to the extent our children really understand the founding principles of our great country, they will be valiant champions of liberty.
The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) was founded in 2005 to “facilitate research, increase understanding, and encourage discussion of the U.S. Constitution by creating and maintaining the first, free, fully-indexed, comprehensive online library of constitutional sources.”
The primary objective of this project is to:
“connect ‘We The People’ with the thoughts and ideas of the Framers. High-resolution original images give users the opportunity to see exactly what the readers of the late 1780’s saw. The advanced search capabilities of transcribed text, scholarly certification standards, and constitutional cross-referencing of each document ensure that everyone, from the sixth-grader to The Supreme Court Justice, has direct access to the ideas that helped forge a nation.”
The site includes a treasure trove of source documents related to the Constitution. For example, while browsing through the Federalist Papers, I found this bit of wisdom in The Federalist, No. II, written by John Jay, who became first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court:
“This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous and alien sovereignties.”
I hope that our study of the Constitution will strengthen our union and the freedoms we enjoy.
“As far as constitutional liberty is concerned, I will say, the God of heaven has raised up our nation, as foretold by his prophets generations ago. He inspired Columbus, and moved upon him to cross the ocean in search of this continent. … It is also well known how our forefathers found a home and an asylum in this land from the hand of persecution, and how they planted here the tree of liberty and jealously guarded it from the attempt of the mother country to uproot and destroy it. The hand of God was in this; and it is through the intervention of his providence that we enjoy today the freest and most independent government the world ever saw.”
Wilford Woodruff, From The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1946, 51:801, pp. 188-89.