Ugandan Diaspora News | Letter from the Editor | July 2014 | Happy Independence Day America

Posted July 2, 2014 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Editorial ~ 2,392 views


Greetings Dear Readers,

July is a special month for some of us immigrants who now call the USA home. The United States gained its independence on July 4th 1776. This nation that has embraced lots of foreigners is now a living example of what the founders of this great republic had envisioned 300 years ago. Let us look at some of the historical facts in order to appreciate the present.

The Declaration of Independence, composed primarily by Thomas Jefferson, bore the date of July 4, 1776, but the fancy handwritten copy, now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., was signed in August of that year. July 4 was also the date printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remembered.

How did the Fourth of July become a national holiday?

For the first 20 years or so after the Declaration was written, people did not celebrate it. It was too new and much else was happening in the young nation. By the 1790s, a time of bitter partisan conflicts, the Declaration had become controversial. One party, the Democratic-Republicans, admired Jefferson and the Declaration. But the other party, the Federalists, thought the Declaration was too French and too anti-British, which went against their current policies. By 1817, John Adams complained in a letter that America seemed uninterested in its past. But that would soon change.

After the War of 1812, a two and a half-year military conflict fought against the United Kingdom, the Federalist party began to come apart and the new parties of the 1820s and 1830s all considered themselves inheritors of Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans. Printed copies of the Declaration began to circulate again, all with the date July 4, 1776, listed at the top. The deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4, 1826, may even have helped to promote the idea of July 4 as an important date to be celebrated.

Celebrations of the Fourth of July became more common as the years went on and in 1870, almost a hundred years after the Declaration was written, Congress first declared July 4 to be a national holiday as part of a bill to officially recognize several holidays, including Christmas. Further legislation about national holidays, including July 4, was passed in 1939 and 1941. And this is how this special holiday was enacted some three score years ago.

Back to the World Cup — The world’s biggest sporting event is now in its third week as we begin to witness the sudden falling by the wayside of some great contenders. Netherlands barely made the cut what with that flop by Dutch forward Robben into the penalty box, earning a shoddy victory against the Mexicans who dominated them. When the game was over, Dutch airline KLM sent out a tweet that angered more Mexicans saying “Adios Amigos”, this action was later followed by numerous re-tweets of some Mexicans celebrities calling for a boycott of the Royal Dutch airline.

This year’s World Cup has produced a spectacle of games and some amazing penalty shoot-outs. The finals will definitely bring us some surprising action, now that the major contenders and defending champions are all out. Although we did not deserve a win against Mexico my money is still on Netherlands to lift this year’s Trophy. The US has also been ousted after making it to the round of 16, a major achievement for the US thanks in part to their goal keeper Tim Howard.

On a sad note, our fellow countrymen in the diaspora –China to be precise–are facing deathrow with some already executed for drug trafficking offences, as Uganda has become the new corridor for drug trafficking in Africa. The culture of get rich quick is at play with very dangerous effects. What is even more bizarre sometimes is to read press reports of impounded narcotics disappearing from secured locations in Uganda perhaps a sign that some law enforcement officers could now be compromised in this growing trade.

Finally, to all those immigrants who call America home, a happy Independence Day. I will confess that this is the one country that I have visited or lived, that will embrace you and give you an opportunity to excel and achieve if you put in the time. For that we salute our Founding Fathers and those who fought to preserve this union.  And so a Happy Birthday to these United States of America!

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” — John F. Kennedy

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” –Charles Swindoll

Managing Editor — Ronnie Mayanja

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About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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