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Sense”was wildly popular, selling more than 150,000 copies in its first weeks of publication, and created a groundswell of colonist support for independence. DRAFTING THE DOCUMENT Once a route forward was agreed upon, Congress set about drafting a formal document to dissolve all ties with Great Britain. They assigned a group of five congressmen, now known as the Committee of Five, to begin work on what would become the Declaration of Independence. That group comprised John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Most people believed that Adams, one of the earliest supporters of revolution, should be the man to pen the document. Adams, on the other hand, was insistent that Jefferson was the man for the job. Not much is known about how Jefferson wrote the document, but we are certain that he presented it to Congress on June 28, 1776. The original draft was heavily revised
over the next few days with input from all Congress members. This revision process coincided with convincing the final holdout states to move toward independence. By July 2, independence had been decided, with 12 states voting in favor, one absenting, and zero against. Jefferson thought that July 2 would become a national holiday as a result of this vote. Turns out he was two days off. That’s because two days later, the final text of the Declaration was approved and sent to the printer, and this event became the moment synonymous with the birth of our nation. THE POWER OF THE PROSE “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
While this remarkable passage is the one everyone remembers, it’s only a small portion of the Declaration. Structurally, the text proceeds like a classic example of a rhetorical argument. It begins by proposing that if a government is oppressive and unjust, it should be overthrown. Then, it lists the ways the British government has been unjust to its colonial citizens. Finally, it concludes that because of these grievances, it is time for the U.S. to establish a government of its own. It’s also a literary achievement, full of timeless sentences that are as compelling to read today as when they were written. Somehow, the text achieves both clarity of argument and an overflow of emotion. It was so powerful that it stirred revolutionary emotions across the world, most notably in France. This Fourth of July, why not take the time to read the Declaration of Independence? It’s something few U.S. citizens do, and you’ll likely find it about as awe-inspiring as the biggest display of fireworks you can imagine.
–The Declaration of Independence
Lies You’ve Been Told Fiction That Holds Too Much Weight
YOU USE ONLY 10 PERCENT OF YOUR BRAIN
Fallacies are fed to us on a daily basis, and some are more believable than others. Here are a few popular misconceptions. CRACKING YOUR KNUCKLES WILL CAUSE ARTHRITIS Studies show that there aren’t any dangers to cracking your knuckles, besides annoying someone with the noise. For a long time, many speculated that the cause of the cracking or popping noise was either the resetting of joints and tendons or the formation of fluid that lubricates the joints. Dr. Donald Unger was the first person to conduct an experiment with the hypothesis that cracking your knuckles doesn’t lead to arthritis. He cracked only the knuckles in his left hand for over 50 years. Later in life, both hands were arthritis-free. YOU EAT SPIDERS WHILE YOU SLEEP You may have heard this chilling myth before, but it’s simply not true. Spiders are very sensitive to vibrations — they won’t willingly approach a breathing or snoring human. It isn’t in our eight-legged friends’ nature to crawl into a person’s mouth.
Your brain is constantly in use. Every single action you perform, including digestion, coughing, speaking, thinking, and breathing, are all carried out by processes in the brain. There are levels of consciousness that cause parts of your brain to be less active than others, but there isn’t one singular area that ceases to work for any long period of time. THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA IS VISIBLE FROM SPACE While the size of the Great Wall is truly spectacular, that doesn’t mean it can be seen from outer space. It’s not at all visible from the moon, and even from low orbit, it’s difficult to spot the wall with an unaided eye. According to NASA, the theory was first shaken by Yang Liwei, a Chinese astronaut, who said he was unable to see the Great Wall from space. Later, a camera with a 180 mm lens and a 400 mm lens captured the wall from a low orbit.
2 • www.ThomasPhysicalTherapy.com
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