Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Pursuit of Happiness the Founders' Intent: Virtue and Distinction

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Pursuit of Happiness the Founders' Intent: Virtue and Distinction

Article excerpt

Independence Day could have been two days ago. But we celebrate it today.

John Adams thought July 2 should be celebrated. It was on July 2 that the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution on independence.

If all we were celebrating were independence from Britain, that would be the day to celebrate - or Sept. 3, the anniversary of the 1783 treaty in which George III recognized the new nation.

But we don't celebrate July 2 or Sept. 3. We celebrate July 4 - the day the Declaration was signed. The day the nation's creed was recorded and adopted.

Never before in human history had a new nation affirmed "unalienable Rights" to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." The first two rights are still revolutionary. The third is a mind-bender. You have a "right," dear neighbor, to pursue happiness. …

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