Sunday, July 2, 2017

The New York Times Flunks American History

Historical Facts and Dates Matter

Declaration of Independence
The New York Times has included with today’s edition an annotated copy of the U.S. Constitution. I certainly applaud broad dissemination of the Constitution, but I find it quite odd that the Times has chosen July 2, and a day that is part of the July 4th holiday weekend, as the day to distribute a document that was signed on September 17. (Check out my earlier post on this topic: "The Constitution Was Established On This Day In 1788".

This is the time of year when we celebrate the Declaration of Independence. John Adams believed that we would celebrate our independence today because it was on July 2, 1776 that the Continental Congress actually declared independence from Great Britain. In a letter to Abigail Adams from Philadelphia on July 3, he wrote that “[t]he Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.” (Check out my earlier post on this topic: "Independence Day".) 

While Adams was off in his prediction, at least he was extremely close. The New York Times, not so much.

Maybe The New York Times plans on distributing a copy of the Declaration on September 17. Or maybe its editors just don't care about historical facts. For those of you who would like to look at a copy now, here is a link to a transcript of the Declaration: Declaration of IndependenceAnd for those of you who do not subscribe to The New York Times, here is a link to a transcript of the Constitution: Constitution.

As for The New York Times, here is a link to the questions that are used to naturalize new citizens; note that suggested answers are included as well: Civics (History and Government) Questions for the Naturalization Test