Pat Shingleton: "Thunder and a Thunderous Speech"
On July 1, 1776, debate was underway in Philadelphia concerning whether the 13 American colonies should declare their independence from Great Britain. As noted in a previous column, John Dickinson appealed for loyalty to Britain. When John Adams began his oration a summertime thunderstorm erupted. He delivered a powerful speech in the midst of lightning and rolling thunder. At Independence Hall, candles were lit for the Continental Congress as Adams continued his passionate address; louder than the weather outside. The following day the momentous vote was taken during another thunderstorm. Two days later, a frontal passage ushered in cool air for Philadelphia and for the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July.