The Declaration Of Independence Was Written On A Laptop

Was Thomas Jefferson a time traveler? How could he have written the Declaration of Independence on a laptop? There are some pretty interesting and shocking facts about the 4th of July you probably didn’t know! We explain them all on today’s show.

Show Notes and Transcript

Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. While many men discussed it. And it's wording was debated at times, he was the man who drafted the document that we recognize today as the foundation of our freedom. Others had input and even penned some of it. But even then Jefferson is known for changing those contributions for the better.

A couple of interesting fact you may not know. Thomas Jefferson wrote the entire document on a "laptop"

Now, it wasn't a laptop computer like we have today, but rather was a portable lap desk which could be folded in half and suitable for travel. It was basically a writing desk that could fit on one's lap. It is commonly referred to as a writing box and it's on display at the National Museum of American History.

Jefferson designed the desk while a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776, and had it built by a Philadelphia cabinetmaker. The "writing box," as he later called it, is of mahogany, and of modest size: 9 3/4 inches long by 14 3/8 inches wide by 3 1/4 inches deep. There’s a folding board, lined with green baize, attached to the top—when it is opened, the writing surface grows to 19 3/4 inches. A drawer in one end of the desk has space for paper, pens and a glass inkwell. The whole is about the size of an attaché case—barely larger than the first generation of laptop computers in our own day. But this 18th-century think pad, at least, earned the name.

The desk on which a new nation announced itself to the world in 1776—in Jefferson’s script of marvelous clarity and straight-line precision—had a long career of service. Indeed, Jefferson used it for almost 50 years, through all his subsequent life as politician, ambassador, statesman, inventor, architect, educator, President and private citizen.

One of the most well know phrases from that document almost wasn't. I don't think there is a red blooded American alive over the age of 16 who doesn't recognize the phrase "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Did you know that this was not the original words?

Thomas Jefferson changed the wording of the Declaration of Independence from "the pursuit of property" to "the pursuit of happiness".

John Locke coined the phrase Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Property. But for the inspired editing of Thomas Jefferson those would be the words we all knew today.

Can you imagine if those epic words were "Life, liberty and the pursuit of property?" Doesn't have quite the same effect does it?


Three U.S. Presidents, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, died on July 4th; Adams and Jefferson died within hours of each other in 1826 while Monroe died in 1831.

On July 4th 1826, Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who were once fellow Patriots and then later political adversaries, died on the same day within five hours of each other.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the last surviving members of the original American revolutionaries While they began the revolution as staunch ideological allies, their opinions on how to achieve these ideals diverged over time.

John Adams was described as hot tempered and fiery man who was a strong believer in centralized government. Thomas Jefferson on the other hand was a soft spoken gentle man who strongly believed in a very limited federal government, opting for more power to the individual states.

Their dying day is a stark reminder of their ever mindfulness of each other. On July 4, 1826, at the age of 90, Adams lay on his deathbed while the country celebrated Independence Day. His last words were Thomas Jefferson still survives. He was mistaken: Jefferson had died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 82.

One of the greatest examples of thier mutual contributions to our country will be evident at the end of this podcast. If you want to know just how lasting an impression to men, who disagree on politics, can have on the country...make sure you listen to the end!


Both the Philippines and Rwanda celebrate July 4th as a day of liberation. In Southeast Asia, it is known as “Republic Day” and Rwandans celebrate “Liberation Day.”

Philippine Republic Day is a commemoration in the Philippines held annually on 4 July. It was formerly an official holiday designated as Independence Day, celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Manila, which granted Philippine Independence from the United States of America in 1946. It has less significance today and is referred to as Filpino-American Friendship Day.

On July 5, 1973, Major General Juvenal Habyarimana led the military and took power in Rwanda. He dissolved the National Assembly and the Parmehutu Party and abolished all political activity.

He was re-elected in 1983 and again in 1988.

In response to public pressure for political reform, President Habyarimana announced in 1990 his plans to transform Rwanda's one-party state into a multi-party democracy.

Later that year, Rwandan exiles, primarily ethnic Tutsis, formed the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and invaded Rwanda.

This war lasted until 1992. A cease-fire took effect on July 31, 1992.

On April 6, 1994, an airplane carrying President Habyarimana and the President of Burundi was shot down, and both presidents were killed. The Rwandan Army and militia groups immediately began rounding up and killing all Tutsis and moderate Hutus throughout the country. As many as 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus had been killed by July.

On July 4, 1994, the RPF took over Kigali, and the war ended on July 16. This is now known as the Rwandan genocide.
Today, Rwandans across the country celebrate the anniversary of their liberation on July 4

Americans consume about 155 million hot dogs on Independence Day alone; it is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year.

German sausages were being served in New York in the mid 1800's. It's not know who brought the first sausages to American but we do know they came from Germany. In Germany they were called wieners or Frankfurters. In the US They were originally referred to as dachshund sausages because they were small. So little dogs or little sausages was their early name on the streets of New York around 1860

But who is responsible for the first Hot dogs?

Wieners and frankfurters don't become Hot Dogs until someone puts them in a roll or a bun. There are several stories or legends as to how this first happened. Specific people were have been credited for for supposedly inventing the Hot Dog. Charles Feltman and Antonoine Feuchtwanger were among the few.

In 1867, Charles Feltman, a German butcher, opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand in Brooklyn, New York and sold 3,684 dachshund sausages in a roll during his first year in business He is also credited with the idea of the warm bun.

In 1880 a German peddler, Antonoine Feuchtwanger, sold hot sausages in the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. He would supply white gloves with each purchase so that his customers would not burn their hands while eating the sausage. He saw his profits going down because the customers kept taking the gloves and walking off with them. His wife suggested that he put the sausages in a split bun instead. He reportedly asked his brother-in-law, a baker, for help. The baker improvised long soft rolls that fit the meat, thus inventing the hot dog bun. When he did that, the Hot Dog was born. He called them red hots.


There are several enduring symbols of our liberty, freedom and fighting spirit that have stood the test of time. And you will see them used often around the 4th of July. They would be the Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, and The Bald Eagle.

A few interesting facts to note.

Two of our nation’s great national symbols were not made in America. They were made overseas in fact. The Liberty Bell was cast in England, and the Statue of Liberty in France.

And how did the National Bird become the Bald Eagle? Well, if Benjamin Franklin had his way it would have been the majetic turkey.


Thankfully John Adams and Thomas Jefferson saved the day and gave us the Bald Eagle.


Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a "laptop," which was a writing desk that could fit on one's lap

Thomas Jefferson changed the wording of the Declaration of Independence from "the pursuit of property" to "the pursuit of happiness"

Flags line streets, sidewalks and roadways on the 4th of July. You will see them being waved proudly in parades and other celebrations. And what would the 4th of July be without Fireworks? These beautiful sights and sounds fill the night sky and usually wind down a long day of celebrating our freedom.

Some interesting facts about those flags and fireworks you may not know.

87% of American Flags are imported from China

97% of fireworks are imported from China


Happy 4th of July. Never forget that our liberty has never been free. It comes at a great cost. And it's definitely something worth celebrating.

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