Today in history —> On this day in 1799, French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard found the Rosetta Stone in an Egyptian village. The stone was inscribed with hieroglyphics and Greek script in 196 BC but was lost during the Medieval period. After its rediscovery, it prompted widespread excitement as scientists raced to be the first to decipher the ancient text. It was eventually translated by Jean-François Champollion, a French scholar, in 1822!
The inscription, by the way, is about the divine status of Ptolemy V.
Today in 1822 one of my favorite poets and playwrights died Percy Bysshe Shelley. (b. 1792)
An excerpt from “Prometheus Unbound”:
Death is the veil which those who live call life:
They sleep, and it is lifted: and meanwhile
In mild variety the seasons mild
With rainbow-skirted showers, and odorous winds,
And long blue meteors cleansing the dull night,
And the life-kindling shafts of the keen sun’s
All-piercing bow, and the dew-mingled rain
Of the calm moonbeams, a soft influence mild,
Shall clothe the forests and the fields, aye, even
The crag-built desarts of the barren deep,
With ever-living leaves, and fruits, and flowers.
Happy Tanabata tomorrow July 7th! Tanabata is a day that celebrates the legend of star-crossed lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi, who are separated by the Milky Way and permitted to meet only once a year. As part of Tanabata traditions we write our wishes on strips of paper and tie them to branches of bamboo. What’s your Tanabata wish?
Today in Holocaust History —> On this day in 1942 Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.
Carina Nebula 7,500 light years from Earth and the Chandra X-ray Observatory has detected more than 14,000 stars in the region…
Gilbert Stuart, John Adams, American, 1755 – 1828, c. 1800/1815, oil on canvas, Gift of Mrs. Robert Homans
Today in Founding Fathers History —> On this day in 1826 Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, dies the same day as John Adams, second president of the United States, on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence.
Today’s American History Lesson:
** The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776. **
On July 1, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and on the following day 12 of the 13 colonies voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion for independence. The delegates then spent the next two days debating and revising the language of a statement drafted by Thomas Jefferson. On July 4, Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, and as a result the date is celebrated as Independence Day. Nearly a month would go by, however, before the actual signing of the document took place. First, New York’s delegates didn’t officially give their support until July 9 because their home assembly hadn’t yet authorized them to vote in favor of independence. Next, it took two weeks for the Declaration to be “engrossed”—written on parchment in a clear hand. Most of the delegates signed on August 2, but several—Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean and Matthew Thornton—signed on a later date. (Two others, John Dickinson and Robert R. Livingston, never signed at all.) The signed parchment copy now resides at the National Archives in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, alongside the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.