Aquarian Exposition

(Top two photos) Nick Ercoline and Bobbi Kelly were boyfriend and girlfriend wrapped in a muddy blanket at Woodstock and wound up on the Woodstock album cover. Two years later they were married. And now, 50 years later, we’re still having fun together,” says Nick. Bobbi is a retired school nurse and Nick a carpenter. Their married life contrasts with the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll of that era. “In 1969, it was all about free love, living in communes; people weren’t monogamous. At the end of the day we are the opposite of that. (row three) An original poster and ticket; (rows four, five and six) The feel of the crowd; (row seven) Jimmy Hendrix and Richie Havens; (row eight) Country Joe McDonald and Janis Joplin; (row nine) The crowd on Max Yasgur’s farm.  Wow!!

Peace and love.  Doesn’t get much simpler.  It’s been 50 years since one of the most recognized rock concerts in history – Woodstock took place this weekend.  What started as a small fundraising event to build a remote recording studio turned into over 400,000 peaceful and loving youngsters singing and dancing on muddy hillsides.  Looking back, I love to read the unique behind the scenes history that led up to the event and relive the artists who became world renowned from their live performances (and those who said “no”). And talk about your PIA (Pain in the #%$) Jobs – food, water, bathrooms, first aid, parking, traffic, stage logistics, lighting, sound and more – all got figured out … and THEN the rains came … wow! Hats off to all of those involved. Here is some really fun trivia on the events leading up to the festival, the performers who took the stage, and those who had other plans (and regret it).  Enjoy, and be sure to click on the links to hear some of your favorite songs and see some great video footage.

Woodstock was a music festival held August 15–18, 1969, which attracted an audience of more than 400,000. Billed as “an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”, it was held at Max Yasgur‘s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 43 miles southwest of the small town of  Woodstock.

Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain. It has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as the definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation of the late 60’s.

Woodstock was initiated through the efforts of Michael LangArtie KornfeldJoel Rosenman, and John P. Roberts. Roberts and Rosenman financed the project. Lang had some experience as a promoter, having co-organized the Miami Pop Festival on the East Coast the prior year, where an estimated 25,000 people attended the two-day event.

Early in 1969, Roberts and Rosenman were New York City entrepreneurs, in the process of building Media Sound, a large audio recording studio complex in Manhattan. Lang and Kornfeld’s lawyer, Miles Lourie, who had done legal work on the Media Sound project, suggested that they contact Roberts and Rosenman about financing a similar, but much smaller, studio Kornfeld and Lang hoped to build in WoodstockNew York. Unpersuaded by this Studio-in-the-Woods proposal, Roberts and Rosenman counter-proposed a concert featuring the kind of artists known to frequent the Woodstock area (such as Bob Dylan and The Band).

Kornfeld and Lang agreed to the new plan, and Woodstock Ventures was formed in January 1969. From the start, there were differences in approach among the four: Roberts was disciplined and knew what was needed for the venture to succeed, while the laid-back Lang saw Woodstock as a new, “relaxed” way of bringing entrepreneurs together. When Lang was unable to find a site for the concert, Roberts and Rosenman, growing increasingly concerned, took to the road and eventually came up with a venue – a small dairy farm in upstate New York.

In April 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival became the first act to sign a contract for the event, agreeing to play for $10,000 (equivalent to about $75,000 today). The promoters had experienced difficulty landing big-name groups prior to Creedence committing to play, as many popular groups were already committed to other concerts and projects. Creedence drummer Doug Cliffordlater commented, “Once Creedence signed, everyone who could jumped in line and all the other big acts came on.”

Woodstock was designed as a profit-making venture (it became a “free concert” only after the event drew hundreds of thousands more people than the organizers had prepared for). Tickets for the three-day event cost $18 in advance and $24 at the gate (equivalent to about $120 and $160 today). Ticket sales were limited to record stores in the greater New York City area, or by mail via a post office box at the Radio City Station Post Office located in Midtown Manhattan. Around 186,000 advance tickets were sold, and the organizers anticipated approximately 200,000 festival-goers would turn up.

Town officials were assured by the promoters that no more than 50,000 would attend. Town residents immediately opposed the project, and passed a law requiring a permit for any gathering over 5,000 people. On July 15, 1969, the Wallkill Zoning Board of Appeals officially banned the concert on the basis that the planned portable toilets would not meet town code. Reports of the ban, however, turned out to be a publicity bonanza for the festival.

The organizers once again told Bethel authorities they expected no more than 50,000 people.

Despite resident opposition and signs proclaiming, “Buy No Milk. Stop Max’s Hippy Music Festival”,Bethel Town Attorney Frederick W. V. Schadt, building inspector Donald Clark and Town Supervisor Daniel Amatucci approved the festival permits, but the Bethel Town Board refused to issue the permits formally. Clark was ordered to post stop-work orders.

Subsequently, on August 2, 1969, the Building Inspector informed Woodstock Ventures, Inc. that the Stop Work Order was lifted, and the festival could proceed pending backing by the Department of Health and Agriculture, and removal of all structures by September 1, 1969.

The late change in venue did not give the festival organizers enough time to prepare. At a meeting three days before the event, organizers felt they had two options: one was to complete the fencing and ticket booths, without which the promoters would lose any profit or go into debt; the other option involved putting their remaining available resources into building the stage, without which the promoters feared they would have a disappointed and disgruntled audience.

When the audience began arriving by the tens of thousands the next day, the Wednesday before the weekend, the decision was made for them. Those without tickets simply walked through gaps in the fences, and the organizers were forced to make the event free of charge. Though the festival left its promoters nearly bankrupt, their ownership of the film and recording rights more than compensated for the losses after the release of the hit documentary film Woodstock in March 1970.

The influx of attendees to the rural concert site in Bethel created a massive traffic jam. Fearing chaos as thousands began descending on the community, Bethel did not enforce its codes. Eventually, announcements on radio stations as far away as WNEW-FM in Manhattan and descriptions of the traffic jams on television news discouraged people from setting off to the festival.The facilities were not equipped to provide sanitation or first aid for the number of people attending; hundreds of thousands found themselves in a struggle against bad weather, food shortages, and poor sanitation.

On the morning of Sunday, August 17, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller called festival organizers and told them he was thinking of ordering 10,000 New York State National Guard troops to the festival. Roberts was successful in persuading Rockefeller not to do this. Sullivan County declared a state of emergency. During the festival, personnel from nearby Stewart Air Force Base assisted in helping to ensure order and airlifting the performers in and out of the concert venue.

Although the festival was remarkably peaceful given the number of people and the conditions involved, there were two recorded fatalities: one from insulin usage, and another caused in an accident when a tractor ran over an attendee sleeping in a nearby hayfield.

There were two births recorded at the event (one in a car caught in traffic and another in a hospital after an airlift by helicopter) and four miscarriages.

Yet, in tune with the idealistic hopes of the 1960s, Woodstock satisfied most attendees. There was a sense of social harmony, which, with the quality of music, and the overwhelming mass of people, many sporting bohemian dress, behavior, and attitudes, helped to make it one of the enduring events of the century.

After the concert, Max Yasgur, who owned the site of the event, saw it as a victory of peace and love. He spoke of how nearly half a million people filled with potential for disaster, riot, looting, and catastrophe spent the three days with music and peace on their minds. He stated, “If we join them, we can turn those adversities that are the problems of America today into a hope for a brighter and more peaceful future…”

Order of the Performers and some trivia:

Declined invitations or missed connections:

  • Bob Dylan– a resident of the town of Woodstock, was never in serious negotiation. Instead, Dylan signed in mid-July to play the Isle of Wight Festival of Music, on August 31. Dylan had been unhappy about the number of hippies piling up outside his house in the nearby town of Woodstock.
  • Simon & Garfunkel declined the invitation, as they were working on their new album.
  • The Jeff Beck GroupJeff Beck disbanded the group prior to Woodstock. “I deliberately broke the group up before Woodstock,” Beck said. “I didn’t want it to be preserved
  • Led Zeppelin was asked to perform. Their manager Peter Grant stated: “We were asked to do Woodstock and Atlantic were very keen, and so was our U.S. promoter, Frank Barsalona. I said no because at Woodstock we’d have just been another band on the bill.”
  • The Byrds were invited, but chose not to participate, believing that Woodstock would be no different from any of the other music festivals that summer.
  • Chicago,at the time still known as the Chicago Transit Authority, had initially been signed on to play at Woodstock. However, they had a contract with concert promoter Bill Graham, which allowed him to move Chicago’s concerts at the Fillmore West, to let Santana play at Woodstock.
  • Tommy James and the Shondells declined an invitation. Lead singer Tommy James stated later: “We could have just kicked ourselves. We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, ‘Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.’ That’s how it was put to me. So we passed, and we realized what we’d missed a couple of days later.”
  • The Moody Blues were included on the original Wallkill poster as performers, but decided to back out after being booked in Paris the same weekend.
  • Frank Zappa,then with The Mothers of Invention, according to the Class of the 20th Century U.S. television special, said “A lot of mud at Woodstock … We were invited to play there, we turned it down.”
  • Arthur Lee and Love declined the invitation, but Mojo Magazine later described inner turmoil within the band which caused their absence at the Woodstock festival.
  • Free was asked to perform and declined. They did however play at the Isle of Wight Festival, a week later.
  • Mind Garage declined because they thought the festival would be a minor event, and they had a higher paying gig elsewhere.
  • The Doors were considered as a potential performing band but canceled at the last moment. According to guitarist Robby Krieger, they turned it down because they thought it would be a “second class repeat of Monterey Pop Festival” and later regretted that decision.
  • Spirit also declined an invitation to play, as they already had shows planned and wanted to play those instead, not knowing how big Woodstock would be.
  • Joni Mitchell was originally slated to perform, but cancelled at the urging of her manager to avoid missing a scheduled appearance on The Dick Cavett Show. She later described the event as “a spark of beauty” where half-a-million kids “saw that they were part of a greater organism”.
  • Lighthouse declined to perform at Woodstock.
  • Roy Rogers was asked by Lang to close the festival with “Happy Trails” but he declined.
  • Procol Harum was invited but refused because Woodstock fell at the end of a long tour and also coincided with the due date of guitarist Robin Trower’s baby.
  • Jethro Tull also declined. According to frontman Ian Anderson, he knew it would be a big event but he did not want to go because he did not like hippies and other concerns including inappropriate nudity, heavy drinking and drug use.
  • Raven – turned down his offer based on the fact that the year before the band played at one of the Woodstock Sound-Outs and the gig didn’t go well. Lang assured them that his concert was going to be different. The band respectfully turned down.[69]
  • Blues Image,according to a 2011 interview with percussionist Joe Lala, agreed to appear at the Woodstock festival. Their manager did not want them to go and said, “There’s only one road in and it’s going to be raining, you don’t want to be there”.
  • Iron Butterfly was booked to appear, and is listed on the Woodstock poster for a Sunday performance, but could not perform because they were stuck at LaGuardia Airport.
  • The Rascals were invited to play the festival but declined because they were in the middle of recording a new album.
  • When enquiries were made about The Beatles possibly appearing, it was also suggested that a recent signee to their label Apple Records should also get an invite. That artist was James Taylor.When the group declined their invitation Taylor’s invite was withdrawn as well.
  • Allegedly, The Rolling Stones were also sent an invitation, but declined because Mick Jagger was in Australia filming Ned Kelly, and Keith Richards‘ girlfriend Anita Pallenberg had just given birth to their son Marlon.

Okay. A couple more links. About an hour each:
Woodstock Day One – Friday
Woodstock Day Two – Saturday

 


 

What Floats Yours?

Ahhh…the dog days of summer. When cold refreshing drinks are calling your name. Made from fruits, ice creams and sodas. Fancy and plain. Adult versions for, well, adults. It’s all a great part of summer. Read on for some really tasty recipes.

 

Summer.  August. Hot days. Beautiful nights.  Time for sitting on the back porch and sipping on a tasty float. Yep – big glasses, lots of ice cream, goodies, and bubbly beverages.  Open the windows, and let the breeze blow in, while enjoying yours.  As you know, I pretty much eat, and like, everything. (I am blessed this way!)  Ice cream floats – oh yea, bring ‘em on especially with freshly made popcorn or pretzels or crackers – see my dilemma!  My favorite is (Good ole vanilla ice cream and coke!) Jackie and the girls on the other hand love trying all sorts of different concoctions. They are not ice cream purists like myself – I love ice cream the way it was intended – Vanilla! Here’s some fun trivia, great variations, and a link to wonderful recipes. Thanks to tasteofhome.com, Wikipedia and the inventor of ice cream, King Tang – according to Google, an ice-cream-like food was first eaten in China in 618-97AD. King Tang of Shang, had 94 ice men who helped to make a dish of buffalo milk, flour and camphor – way easier now just going to the grocery store … or was it a kind of ice-cream said to be invented in China about 200 BC when a milk and rice mixture was frozen by packing it into snow… so where did the cherries and strawberries come from??

The ice cream float was invented by Robert McCay Green in Philadelphia, PA in 1874during the Franklin Institute‘s semicentennial celebration. The traditional story is that, on a particularly hot day, Mr. Green ran out of ice for the flavored drinks he was selling and used vanilla ice cream from a neighboring vendor, thus inventing a new drink.
His own account, published in Soda Fountain magazine in 1910, states that while operating a soda fountain at the celebration, he wanted to create a new treat to attract customers away from another vendor who had a fancier, bigger soda fountain. After some experimenting, he decided to combine ice cream and soda water. During the celebration, he sold vanilla ice cream with soda water and a choice of 16 flavored syrups. The new treat was a sensation and soon other soda fountains began selling ice cream floats.
Green’s lastwill and testament instructed that “Originator of the Ice Cream Soda” was to be engraved on his tombstone.
There are at least three other claimants for the invention of ice cream float: Fred Sanders, Philip Mohr, and George Guy, one of Robert Green’s own employees. Guy is said to have absent-mindedly mixed ice cream and soda in 1872, much to his customer’s delight.
In Australia and New Zealand, an ice cream float is known as a “spider”, because once the carbonation hits the ice cream, it forms a spider web-like creation.  In Mexico, it is known as “Helado flotante” (floating ice cream) and in Puerto Rico it’s referred to as a “black out”.
Root beer and Coke are typical carbonating beverages, but many variations exist (see recipes below).  Here are some fun variations – Although Root Beer and Coke are my favorites!

  1. Chocolate ice cream soda – this ice cream soda starts with approximately 1 oz of chocolate syrup, then several scoops of chocolate ice cream in a tall glass. Unflavored carbonated water is added until the glass is filled and the resulting foam rises above the top of the glass. The final touch is a topping of whipped cream and usually, a maraschino cherry. This variation of ice cream soda was available at local soda fountains and nationally, at Dairy Queen stores for many years.  A similar soda made with chocolate syrup but vanilla ice cream is sometimes called a “black and white” ice cream soda.
  2. Root beer float – Also known as a “black cow” or “brown cow”,the root beer float is traditionally made with vanilla ice cream and root beer, but it can also be made with other ice cream flavors. The similarly flavored soft drink birch beer may also be used instead of root beer.
  3. Coke float – A coke float can be made with any cola, such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi, and vanilla ice-cream.
  4. Boston cooler – A Boston cooler is typically composed of Vernors ginger ale and vanilla ice cream.
  5. Snow White – Snow White is made with 7 Up or Sprite and vanilla ice cream. The origin of this variation is unknown, but it is found in some Asian eateries.
  6. Purple cow – In the context of ice cream soda, a purple cow is vanilla ice cream in purple grape soda. In a more general context, a purple cow may refer to a non-carbonated grape juice and vanilla ice cream combination.
  7. Sherbet cooler – The American Friendly’s chain also had a variation known as a “sherbet cooler,” which was a combination of orange or watermelon sherbet, vanilla syrup and seltzer water. (At present, it is billed as a “slammer”.)
  8. Vaca-preta – At least in Brazil and Portugal, a non-alcoholic ice cream soda made by combining vanilla ice cream and coca-cola is known as vaca-preta (“black cow”).
  9. Helado flotante – In Mexico the most popular version is made with cola and lemon sherbet.
  10. Orange float – An orange float or orange whip consists of vanilla ice cream and orange soft drinks.
  11. Beer float – adult version is Guinness stout, Chocolate ice cream, and espresso. Although the Shakin’ Jesse versionis blended into more of a milkshake consistency, most restaurant bars can make the beer float version. When making at home, the beer and espresso should be very cold so as to not melt the ice cream.
  12. Nectar soda  A flavor popular in New Orleans and parts of Ohio, made with a syrup consisting of equal parts almond and vanilla syrups mixed with sweetened condensed milk and a touch of red food coloring to produce a pink, opalescent syrup base for the soda.
  13. Melon cream soda – Cream soda with melon flavor is a common drink in Japan. Melon soda is served with ice and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

 

THREE VERY COOL VIDEOS:

Homemade Ice Cream in 5 Minutes – no ice cream maker is needed.17,376,100 views

Fred the bartender details his Top 5 Alcoholic Ice Cream Drinks: Barnamint Baileys, Mudslide, Creamsicle, Chocolate Monkey, Razzbaretto. 90,488 views

TYDUS – ICE CREAM (Official Music Video) 6,886,079 views

 


 

Just Sign Here

(top and row two) Maybe the most famous signature ever, John Hancock. That’s a painting of him next to a clean look at his wonderful sig; (row three) Debating the declaration of Independence and getting the signing process underway; (row four) depictions of the good guys getting ready to battle the British; (the rest of the images) Paintings depicting colonial life. I especially like the portrait on the right with the baby on mom’s lap playing with her favorite toy. (presidential signatures from top to bottom) Our very first president, George Washington. His signature on his personal copy of the Acts of Congress is currently worth $9.8 Million; Next is my friend’s granddaughter Mina’s signature. She will be eligible to run for president in 2050. She’s four. But she will be president. At this point her running platform rests on free ice cream and unlimited views of Frozen for all. That may evolve over time; Next is the current resident of the white house, President Donald Trump; Then Barack Obama; George W. Bush; Bill Clinton; George H. W. Bush; Ronald Reagan (nice sig); Jimmy Carter (another nice sig); Richard Nixon; John F. Kennedy; And the president of Kowalski Heat Treating Company, me; And that last one is Miley Cyrus’ sig. She’s not a president and isn’t planning to run as far as I know but Mina likes her and how she dots her “i” with a heart and tucks in that smiley face by the “y.”

 

Working at the desk early this morning, I was reviewing some letters that had to go out (yes, you remember, those typed pages of 8 ½ x 11 paper, with dates on the top, customer names, body text and a formal signature) – unlike the e communications we zip around day and night – and I took pause as I applied my signature Not sure why, but I thought back to when I was a wee tot reviewing my penmanship grades with my parents. Unfortunately, I always received the dreaded U-. Back then we all still were taught to write in cursive, the wonderful Nuns kept telling my parents that I was hopeless! If you were to ask Jackie or my girls, they simply will tell you I am “unique”! Our signatures are a real statement of approval, confirmation and credence to documents. Once you “sign” something it becomes permanent, meaningful and often a binding obligation (think credit card agreements).  “If it is not in writing it doesn’t happen” – this adage is something I live by both professionally and personally – just ask my kids! I’ve always been a big fan of American history and the famous John Hancock signature (that dude had seriously good penmanship, as many did back then) on our Declaration. Turns out, today, August 2, is the official recognized day that the remaining signers of the Declaration completed the document (56 signatures) – it was only partially signed when it became official on July 4th. I jumped on the internet and dug up some cool info on how this amazing document came to be and the history about our brave declaration to the King of England. Enjoy, and thanks Wikipedia and history.com for the info and history lesson. I am continually amazed at what these folks created all those years ago!

 

  1. The United States Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. The Declaration announced that the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America.
  2. The colonies were not directly represented in Parliament, and colonists argued that Parliament had no right to levy taxes upon them. This tax dispute was part of a larger divergence between British and American interpretations of the British Constitution and the extent of Parliament’s authority in the colonies. The orthodox British view, dating from the Glorious Revolution of 1688, was that Parliament was the supreme authority throughout the empire, and so, by definition, anything that Parliament did was constitutional. In the colonies, however, the idea had developed that the British Constitution recognized certain fundamental rights that no government could violate, not even Parliament.
  3. The issue of Parliament’s authority in the colonies became a crisis after Parliament passed the Coercive Acts (known as the Intolerable Acts in the colonies) in 1774 to punish the colonists for the Gaspee Affair of 1772 and the Boston Tea Party of 1773. Many colonists saw the Coercive Acts as a violation of the British Constitution and thus a threat to the liberties of all of British America, so the First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in September 1774 to coordinate a response. Congress organized a boycott of British goods and petitioned the king for repeal of the acts. These measures were unsuccessful because King George and the ministry of Prime Minister Lord North were determined to enforce parliamentary supremacy in America. As the king wrote to North in November 1774, “blows must decide whether they are to be subject to this country or independent”.
  4. Most colonists still hoped for reconciliation with Great Britain, even after fighting began in the American Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. The Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in May 1775, and some delegates hoped for eventual independence, but no one yet advocated declaring it. Many colonists no longer believed that Parliament had any sovereignty over them, yet they still professed loyalty to King George, who they hoped would intercede on their behalf. They were disappointed in late 1775 when the king rejected Congress’s second petition, issued a Proclamation of Rebellion, and announced before Parliament on October 26 that he was considering “friendly offers of foreign assistance” to suppress the rebellion.
  5. Despite this growing popular support for independence, Congress lacked the clear authority to declare it. Delegates had been elected to Congress by 13 different governments, and they were bound by the instructions given to them. Regardless of their personal opinions, delegates could not vote to declare independence unless their instructions permitted such an action.
  6. While many of the colonies were split on independence, as was the custom, Congress appointed a committee to draft a preamble to explain the purpose of the resolution. John Adams wrote the preamble, which stated that because King George had rejected reconciliation and was hiring foreign mercenaries to use against the colonies, “it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority under the said crown should be totally suppressed”.  Adams’s preamble was meant to encourage the overthrow of the governments of Pennsylvania and Maryland, which were still under proprietary governance. Congress passed the preamble on May 15 after several days of debate, but four of the middle colonies voted against it, and the Maryland delegation walked out in protest.Adams regarded his May 15 preamble effectively as an American declaration of independence, although a formal declaration would still have to be made.
  7. On the same day that Congress passed Adams’s radical preamble, the Virginia Convention set the stage for a formal Congressional declaration of independence. On May 15, the Convention instructed Virginia’s congressional delegation “to propose to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent States, absolved from all allegiance to, or dependence upon, the Crown or Parliament of Great Britain”.  In accordance with those instructions, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a three-part resolution to Congress on June 7. The motion was seconded by John Adams, calling on Congress to declare independence, form foreign alliances, and prepare a plan of colonial confederation. The part of the resolution relating to declaring independence read:
    Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.
  8. Total support for a Congressional declaration of independence was consolidated in the final weeks of June 1776. Connecticut, New Hampshire and Delaware authorized their delegates to declare independence. In Pennsylvania, political struggles ended with the dissolution of the colonial assembly, and a new Conference of Committees under Thomas McKean authorized Pennsylvania’s delegates to declare independence on June 18. The Provincial Congress of New Jersey had been governing the province since January 1776; they resolved on June 15 that Royal Governor William Franklin was “an enemy to the liberties of this country” and had him arrested. On June 21, they chose new delegates to Congress and empowered them to join in a declaration of independence.
  9. Only Maryland and New York had yet to authorize independence towards the end of June. Previously, Maryland’s delegates had walked out when the Continental Congress adopted Adams’s radical May 15 preamble, and had sent to the Annapolis Convention for instructions, rejecting Adams’s preamble, instructing its delegates to remain against independence. But Samuel Chase went to Maryland and, thanks to local resolutions in favor of independence, was able to get the Annapolis Convention to change its mind on June 28.
  10. Only the New York delegates were unable to get revised instructions. When Congress had been considering the resolution of independence on June 8, the New York Provincial Congress told the delegates to wait.But on June 30, the Provincial Congress evacuated New York as British forces approached, and would not convene again until July 10. This meant that New York’s delegates would not be authorized to declare independence until after Congress had made its decision.
  11. Political maneuvering was setting the stage for an official declaration of independence even while a document was being written to explain the decision. On June 11, 1776, Congress appointed a “Committee of Five” to draft a declaration, consisting of John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut. The committee took no minutes, so there is some uncertainty about how the drafting process proceeded.  What is certain is that the committee discussed the general outline which the document should follow and decided that Jefferson would write the first draft.
  12. Congress ordered that the draft “lie on the table”and then methodically edited Jefferson’s primary document for the next two days, shortening it by a fourth, removing unnecessary wording, and improving sentence structure. They removed Jefferson’s assertion that Great Britain had forced slavery on the colonies in order to moderate the document and appease persons in Great Britain who supported the Revolution. Jefferson wrote that Congress had “mangled” his draft version, but the Declaration that was finally produced was “the majestic document that inspired both contemporaries and posterity,” in the words of his biographer John Ferling.
  13. A vote was taken after a long day of speeches, each colony casting a single vote, as always. The delegation for each colony numbered from two to seven members, and each delegation voted amongst themselves to determine the colony’s vote. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted against declaring independence. The New York delegation abstained, lacking permission to vote for independence. Delaware cast no vote because the delegation was split between Thomas McKean, who voted yes, and George Read, who voted no. The remaining nine delegations voted in favor of independence, which meant that the resolution had been approved by the committee of the whole. The next step was for the resolution to be voted upon by Congress itself. Edward Rutledge of South Carolina was opposed to Lee’s resolution but desirous of unanimity, and he moved that the vote be postponed until the following day.
  14. On July 2, South Carolina reversed its position and voted for independence. In the Pennsylvania delegation, Dickinson and Robert Morris abstained, allowing the delegation to vote three-to-two in favor of independence. The tie in the Delaware delegation was broken by the timely arrival of Caesar Rodney, who voted for independence. The New York delegation abstained once again since they were still not authorized to vote for independence, although they were allowed to do so a week later by the New York Provincial Congress.
  15. The resolution of independence was adopted with twelve affirmative votes and one abstention, and the colonies officially severed political ties with Great Britain. John Adams wrote to his wife on the following day, writing:
    I am apt to believe that [Independence Day] will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
  16. The Declaration was transposed on paper and signed by John Hancock, President of the Congress, on July 4, 1776, according to the 1911 record of events by the U.S. State Department.   About thirty-four delegates signed the Declaration on July 4, and the others signed on or after August 2.Some historians maintain that most delegates signed on August 2, and that those eventual signers who were not present added their names at a later date.

EXTRAS…
Video of a talented guy making John Hancock’s calligraphy signature
All the President’s Pens: Video of White House Staff Secretary Lisa Brown explains why presidents use so many pens to sign legislation.
An historical event: President Kennedy Signs Test Ban Treaty (1963)