The Declaration Of Independence

Published: Thursday, July 04, 2002 @ 8:22 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 @ 6:56 PM

More On The Declaration Of Independence From The National Archives IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 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. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends. We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. Signers Connecticut: Roger Sherman Samuel Huntingtonv William Williams Oliver Wolcott Delaware: Caesar Rodney George Read Thomas McKean Georgia: Button Gwinnett Lyman Hall George Walton Maryland: Samuel Chase William Paca Thomas Stone Charles Carroll of Carrollton Massachusetts: John Hancock Samuel Adams John Adams Robert Treat Paine Elbridge Gerry New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett William Whipple Matthew Thornton New Jersey: Richard Stockton John Witherspoon Francis Hopkinson John Hart Abraham Clark New York: William Floyd Philip Livingston Francis Lewis Lewis Morris North Carolina: William Hooper Joseph Hewes John Penn Pennsylvania: Robert Morris Benjamin Rush Benjamin Franklin John Morton George Clymer James Smith George Taylor James Wilson George Ross Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins William Ellery South Carolina: Edward Rutledge Thomas Heyward, Jr. Thomas Lynch, Jr. Arthur Middleton Virginia: George Wythe Richard Henry Lee Thomas Jefferson Benjamin Harrison Thomas Nelson, Jr. Francis Lightfoot Lee Carter Braxton More On The Declaration Of Independence From The National Archives

Viral sensation 'Giraffe mom' welcomes son

Published: Wednesday, March 08, 2017 @ 11:18 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 08, 2017 @ 11:48 PM

The once-expectant, giraffe-mask-wearing mother who set up her own "live video" of her pregnancy has given birth to a baby boy.

>> Read more trending news 

According to WMBF, Erin Dietrich and her husband, Scott, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, welcomed their son, Porter Lane, Wednesday.

He's here!! He is perfect, healthy and just beautiful! Our sweet Porter Lane arrived at 6:11pm tonight. 8lb 2oz and 21...

Posted by Erin Dietrich on Wednesday, March 8, 2017

For weeks, the world has been tuned in to the giraffe cam set up on April, a pregnant giraffe at the Animal Adventure Park in New York.

>>WATCH: April the giraffe to give birth at Animal Adventure Park in New York

Dietrich was one of those fans. She ordered a giraffe mask online and became a social media star with her own version of a live video.

She positioned the camera similarly to the zoo, donned the giraffe mask as she paced and danced around the room and occasionally sat in a rocking chair.

“I did not think this many people would get a kick out of this,” Dietrich said in a comment on the video. “All our friends have been making fun of me and my obsession with April so we just thought, ‘Hey we should order a giraffe mask.’”


Don't give kids homeopathic teething tablets, FDA warns parents

Published: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 @ 11:17 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 @ 11:17 AM

            (Quinn Dombrowski/CC BY-SA 2.0)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week warned parents against using homeopathic teething tablets and gels as regulators investigate reports of infants and children suffering seizures and other health issues after taking the natural remedies.

>> Read more trending stories

The FDA zeroed in on tablets and gels distributed by CVS Pharmacy and Hyland's Homeopathy in a warning released Friday, although regulators noted that other retailers might sell the products or similar ones in stores nationwide and online.

The tablets and gels are unnecessary to get children through teething, Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a news release.

"We recommend parents and caregivers not give homeopathic teething tablets and gels to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives," she said.

Regulators warned parents to be particularly careful if children suffer from seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating or agitation, all signs of belladonna toxicity, after taking the teething remedies.

The warning comes six years after the FDA warned parents against using Hyland's Teething Tablets. Regulators said a laboratory analysis found that the tablets used an inconsistent amount of belladonna, a substance that can be toxic in large doses.

Belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade, is not uncommon in homeopathic remedies and is used by Hyland's to combat redness, inflammation and general discomfort.

In a statement, Hyland's described the FDA warning as a "surprise" and said the company is "confident that Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets remain safe."

The company is cooperating with the FDA investigation, although it said it had yet to learn of any of the data supporting the FDA's warning.

The company's teething tablets are sold over the counter and are tested for excessive belladonna content and contaminants, Hyland's said.

"A 10-pound child would have to accidentally ingest, all at the same time, more than a dozen bottles of 135 Baby Teething Tablets before experiencing even dry mouth from the product," the company said in a statement.

"Additionally, the body clears belladonna alkaloids from any single dose in a matter of hours," making it unlikely that the substance would build in a person's system, the company said.

The company also worried about "rumors" that cause "fear and worry" about belladonna.

"This new FDA statement increases the confusion," the company said. "The safety and effectiveness of Hyland's natural homeopathic medicines is our top priority. That's why we work with regulators to ensure that our products meet the highest standards."

However, the FDA said the tablets and gels have not been evaluated or approved for either safety or efficacy by the government agency. Regulators said they were unaware "of any proven health benefit of the products."

The FDA is investigating the issue. Among other steps, regulators are testing product samples to determine whether there are unsafe levels of belladonna or other substances.

Why shark attacks could be on the rise around the world

Published: Monday, May 23, 2016 @ 1:05 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 @ 12:17 PM

Last year, 107 people in different parts of the world were bitten by sharks. Eight of those 107 people died.

While 107 may not seem like a large number when you are talking about a global issue, when it comes to shark and human interaction, that many "unprovoked" attacks mean it was a record-setting year.  

The  International Shark Attack File, the longest maintained database on worldwide shark attacks,  said it investigated 164 reports in 2015. The group classifies an "unprovoked attack" as an incident "where an attack on a live human occurs in the shark’s natural habitat with no human provocation of the shark.”

>>Got a question about the news? See our explainers here 

A study released by the group blamed warmer waters and a jump in coastal population for the spike in numbers. The study said, in part:

 “As world population continues its upsurge and interest in aquatic recreation concurrently rises, we realistically should expect increases in the number of shark attacks and other aquatic recreation-related injuries …

“Shark populations are actually declining or holding at greatly reduced levels in many areas of the world as a result of over-fishing and habitat loss, theoretically reducing the opportunity for these shark-human interactions.

“However, year-to-year variability in local meteorological, oceanographic, and socioeconomic conditions also significantly influences the local abundance of sharks and humans in the water and, therefore, the odds of encountering one another.”

Let’s take a look at some numbers.

Are there really more attacks happening?

When you talk about shark bites, researchers say you have to look at the ratio, not the numbers. In other words, are more people bitten by sharks because more people (and maybe more sharks) are in the same water?

"More people are using the ocean now for recreation than ever before, so there is no doubt that we're putting more people in the water," Chris Lowe, professor in the Department of Biological Studies at California State University Long Beach told Men’s Journal last year.

"And while there isn't a lot of good scientific evidence for this yet, I think that some shark populations are increasing due to better fisheries management and improved water quality," he said. "You put more people in the water and add more sharks to coastal areas, you will have more shark-human related interactions."

Professor George Burgess, director of the University of Florida Program for Shark Research, told The Telegraph in a story about 2015's spike in shark bites that, “Unlike in the movies, it’s not usually a one cause and effect type of a situation. More often it’s a combination of factors that might have led to there being more sharks or more humans in the water, but this is clearly a situation where there is something going on.”

What are the odds?

How likely is it that you will be bitten by a shark? Not likely at all. A group of researchers at Stanford University compared records of shark bites with information about how people use the ocean in California.  The found that an ocean swimmer had only one chance in 738 million of being bitten by a great white shark; surfers had a one in 17 million chance, and scuba divers had a one in 136 million chance. 

Who do they attack?

Sharks will likely bite the person who acts like a fish or looks like a seal. If you appear to the shark as his normal food choice – by being on a surfboard, looking sort of seal-like, or splashing around like a fish  –  he’s more likely to go for it. Humans are generally not on his menu.  

Where do they attack?

The United States leads the world in unprovoked shark attacks. Florida leads the United States. While there are more shark bites in the United States, if you are bitten here you are more likely to survive the bite. The fatality rate for shark bites in the U.S. in 2014 was  1.7 percent. For the rest of the world, it was 12.8 percent.

Could we see an increase in shark bite incidents again this year?

We could. If current trends continue, the U.S. coastal regions will see population grow from 123 million people to nearly 134 million people by 2020, according to NOAA.  That doesn't include the millions who vacation on the coasts every year.

Who is most likely to get bitten – man or woman?

Sharks don’t seem to prefer the ladies as 90 percent of shark attack victims are men.  It’s the ratio thing in play again – traditionally more men are swimming, snorkeling and surfing – activities that expose you to the greatest risk for shark attacks. 

Which are sharks responsible for most human bites?

Three species are most responsible for human bites – the bull shark, the tiger shark and the great white shark.

How many sharks are killed each year by humans?

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, between 20 and 100 million sharks die each year due to fishing activity. 

What parents need to know about 'dry' and 'secondary' drowning

Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 12:15 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 @ 10:47 AM

            File photo of a swimming pool.

On average, 10 people will die in the United States today as a result of drowning. 

The image most of us have of a drowning is one of a person flailing in deep water then going under and not coming back up. However, something many people may not know is that not all drownings happen while the person is in the water.

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here

To that end, water safety and medical experts are encouraging parents to think of drowning as a process and not an end result of being under water for too long. The prospect of a child drowning after leaving the pool or beach is one not many parents have considered. 

Here’s a quick look at two ways – dry drowning and secondary drowning – a person can drown hours after leaving the water.

What is "dry drowning?"

Dry drowning happens when water irritates the larynx (vocal chords), and the person has a severe inflammatory reaction to it. The reaction causes the vocal chords to spasm (laryngospasm reflex) and that causes them to close. The person then has trouble or cannot pass air into their lungs. Laryngospasm can cause something called neurogenic pulmonary edema which causes an increase in pressure in the lungs and heart, reducing the body's ability to get oxygen. Laryngospasm can be triggered by something as simple as droplets if water hitting the larynx. High-speed submersion, such as when you go down a water slide or jump from a high dive, can also cause the reaction.

How is it different from “secondary drowning?”

Secondary drowning happens when water gets into the lungs. It is usually a small amount of water, but it fills the air sacs of the lungs, causing pulmonary edema – or fluid in the lungs. With water in the air sacs, there is no room for air, so the person begins to drown. Secondary, or delayed drowning as it is sometimes called, can happen hours after inhaling the water.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of dry drowning and secondary drowning are similar and can be seen from between one hour to 24 hours after the incident. Usually sooner rather than later with dry drowning.

The symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Gasping
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Feeling extremely tired
  • Lips or skin turning blue
  • Changes in behavior
  • A high-pitched breathing sound called stridor
  • Foam around the mouth – Anyone pulled from the water who is coughing or sputtering and has foam around their mouth needs emergency care immediately.

If a person who has been in water shows any of these symptoms, call 911 or get them to a hospital emergency room as soon as possible.

How is it treated?

It depends. Treatment can range from observation for a few hours,  to administering oxygen, to chest x-rays or more advanced medical support – intubation or use of a ventilator – in the most severe cases. (that is rare).

How do I prevent it?

Here are a few tips:

  • Obviously, watch your children when they are in and around water, any water. It takes only moments to take in enough water to cause drowning.
  • Make sure kids know how to swim and watch to make sure weak swimmers don’t go out beyond their abilities.
  • Don’t let kids get too tired in the water.
  • Encourage them to keep their mouths closed when going under water or when their faces are near the water.
  • Remember the symptoms. If you see any in your child, take him to the hospital.

How often does this happen?

Dry drownings and secondary drownings are rare. They account for between 1 and 2 percent of all drownings in the United States.

Sources: WebMD;;;