Saturday, July 4, 2009
Today's Question - What's On the Back of a Two-Dollar Bill?
Since this is the 4th of July I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the Declaration of Independence!
(If you've never read through the document you can find the text here.)
The reverse of the two-dollar bill is from a painting by John Trumbull, commissioned in 1817 and placed in the rotunda of the Capitol building in 1826. (No, I don't remember this from my high school history. I cheated and used google!) And, by the way, the original painting measures 12 feet by 18 feet! Whooooa!
I found this information online...Trumble's painting shows the presentation of the Declaration of Independence in what is now called Independence Hall, Philadelphia. The painting features the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence — John Adams, Roger Sherman, Thomas Jefferson (presenting the document), and Benjamin Franklin — standing before John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress. The painting includes portraits of 42 of the 56 signers and 5 other patriots. The artist sketched the individuals and the room from life.
Oh, by the way! Contrary to what Nicolas Cage would like you to think (in his movie, "National Treasure"), there really is no secret message on the back of the original document. You did know that was fantasy, didn't you?
I repeat! There is no secret message! There is no hidden treasure trove of gold and jewels! Don't you get it! Our National Treasure is You...and Me, and All of Us. Our working people, our military men and women, our mothers and fathers, our families, our ingenuity, our courage, our desire to do what is right and good and honorable. THAT is our national treasure.
But our national treasure can disappear. When we become a nation of whiners and complainers and takers and users and dropouts and duds and lowlifes and "everyone doing what is right in his own eyes", then we will cease to be a great nation.
It happened to the Roman Empire. And it can happen to us.
Oh, wow! I began this on an upbeat note. And ended it on a downer. Sorry about that. The intent of this blog is not always to entertain. Sometimes I'm just blunt.