Celebration is a key part of the framework of our country; and serves as a reminder of the many aspects of greatness that connects us as individuals, country and the world.  July, has been given the honor of being the month to champion freedom, independence, and celebrations of country and culture!


July 4, 1776 is the month and year that the Declaration of Independence was signed; and has since become our guiding national document.  Following is some historical details and trivia about that document.  


Thomas Jefferson, was the principal author of the Declaration, with a committee consisting of John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin who presented the document to John Hancock, president of the Congress. These words may be the best-known part of the Declaration of Independence.

 “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness … “  And the last line may be the most significant… ‘we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor’.


As stated earlier, John Hancock was president of Congress when the Declaration of Independence was adopted and signed. He is primarily remembered by Americans for his large, flamboyant signature in the middle of the Declaration; so much so that “John Hancock” became an informal synonym or slang term for a signature, in the United States.  You have probably been asked to put your ‘John Hancock’ on some document in the past and now you know the origination of it.


While celebrating July and some of its history; it may be interesting to take a look back at a couple of items that may be of interest.


  • July was the fifth month of the year until January and February were added in 450 BC. It got its original name from the Latin word for fifth. Later the name was changed to Julius in honor of Julius Caesar who was born on July 12.

  • A women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York in July 1948.  Topics discussed included voting rights, property rights and divorce.  The convention marked the beginning of an organized women’s rights movement in the U.S.


While celebrating history is important, celebrating the present may even be more important.  Here are a few quotes and value added thoughts from others about the importance of living a celebratory lifestyle.


The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.  – Oprah Winfrey.


Wherever you are, be all there.  – Jim Elliott


Your life is your message to the world. Make sure it’s inspiring.  – Lauren Conrad


 “Life is a gift, the way we celebrate it is our choice… and the way we celebrate it has an impact on our lives. “

– Patricia Leonard


Celebrate what you have accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.  Mia Hamm


         Learning to be a celebrator rather than a criticizer is a key ingredient of empowerment.


      Make this July the beginning of a new life journey, by celebrating each moment with gratefulness!!



Patricia Leonard, President, Patricia Leonard & Associates, Nashville, TN