On July 4th, 2014 The Kremlin’s Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov sent me the following message:
“Congratulations to US President Barack Obama on Independence Day
President of Russia Vladimir Putin congratulated President of the United States of America Barack Obama on national holiday – Independence Day.
In his message of congratulations, Mr Putin said that he hopes that ties between the two countries, which have a rich history, will continue successful development on a pragmatic and equal basis despite the current differences and difficulties.
The President also stressed that Russia and the United States are both countries bearing particular responsibility for ensuring international stability and security and should therefore cooperate not just for the benefit of their own peoples but also in the entire world’s interest.
Mr Putin said it is important to build bilateral relations based on mutual respect and genuine consideration of each other’s interests.”
Dear Robert Tilford
We are issuing the following communications regarding President Vladmir Putin’s congratulations to your President Barack Obama on the happy 4th of July celebration of American independence. Please consider it for publication on your Ground Reports website.
In the interests of peace and good will we also wish you and all the American people a happy celebration on this joyous occasion of your country’s independence from Great Britain on this date in 1776.
Presidential Press Secretary
tel. +7 (495) 606-32-32
The following is my reply:
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, (not July 4th) when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain.
Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
Adams’s prediction was off by two days.
From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.
This is a subtle nuance which a history buff and scholar such as yourself might be not be aware but certainly appreciate.
Certainly I appreciate your country’s message of peace and good will. I sincerely hope both our presidents can live up to that high expectation.
On behalf of the American people I sincerely thank you and President Vladimir Putin for your well wishes and efforts to promote greater peace and cooperation between our two nations, even if my President does not.
With warm regards