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Holiday Hours: Independence Day

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Above, the famous John Trumbull painting depicting the presentation of the Declaration to John Hancock. John Adams is standing on the right of the Committee of Five. Right, the Bill of Rights currently on display at Williams College.

Independence Day will be celebrated Thursday, July 4. It is a federal holiday marking the ratification of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Representatives from 13 original colonies, of which Massachusetts was a leader, actually voted on July 2 at the Second Continental Congress to declare their independence from Great Britain. The Declaration formalizing the decision — and giving the reasons for doing so — was written by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as the principal author. The others were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Roger Sherman of Connecticut and Robert Livingston of New York.

Adams, author of the Massachusetts Constitution, would write 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."

But it would be the adoption two days later that would live in the minds of his countrymen, helped by that large date inscribed at the top of the document. It would be signed the following month. One of the signers was Samuel Adams, for whom the town of Adams (and by extension, North Adams) is named.

Williams College holds one of the few original copies in existence and hosts a reading of the Declaration each Fourth of July.

Massachusetts would become the first state to recognize the day as a state celebration, in 1781. The Congress made it an unpaid holiday in 1870 and a paid federal holiday in 1938.

Both Presidents Jefferson and Adams, friends and political foes, would die on the 50th anniversary of the signing. In another bit of trivia, Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president and former governor of Massachusetts, is the only president to have been born on the Fourth of July.

Closed:


Federal, state and local offices; no mail delivery.
Banks
Public colleges and schools, most private schools
Public libraries
Most offices and businesses
BRTA is not running
Thursday trash pickup in Pittsfield delayed to Friday

 

 

Open:
Most retail outlets, groceries
Restaurants and bars, by choice
Convenience stores

Fireworks and other events listed here.
 

Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 p.m., Thursday, July 4, through 5 a.m., Friday, July 5.  The plazas serving free coffee include 11 service plazas along I-90 plus plazas along Route 3 in Plymouth, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 128/I-95 in Newton and Lexington, Route 6 in Barnstable, and the Route 24 northbound and southbound plazas. All road work will be suspended July 3 and 4.


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Pittsfield 14s Rally Past N.H. Champs at Babe Ruth Regional Tourney

ROCHESTER, N.H. -- Will Kinne scored on a two-out error in the bottom of the sixth to break a 6-6 tie and send the Pittsfield Babe Ruth 14-year-old All-Stars on to a 7-6 win over Nashua, N.H., on Saturday at the New England Regional Championships.
 
The winning rally started when Jake Hall drew a leadoff walk. He was eventually erased trying to score from third on a ground ball, but Kinne already had reached on the second Nashua error of the inning.
 
Kinne went to third on Nick Guachione's two-out single and scored when Collin Merwin reached on an error.
 
Tyler Gaudette retired the side in the order in the top of the seventh to earn the win after going to the hill in the sixth in relief of Merwin.
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