RALEIGH Saturday marked the 242nd anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, the first such official declaration of freedom from British rule by Americans. Wednesday, the N.C. House of Representatives held a special session in the House chambers of Old State Capitol building in Raleigh to adopt a resolution celebrating the first in freedom event.It just so happens that a local school teacher whose ancestor was an original signatory of the famous declaration on May 20, 1775 was on a field trip to the Old State Capitol with her class as the special session commenced, affording the representatives an opportunity to honor the descendant of one of the brave few who took a stand for liberty all those years ago.”The people that lived in Mecklenburg County at the time, live on in the current day through their descendants, through the State they founded, through the government they founded,” said Rep. Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg) acknowledging the serendipity of the coincidence.The document declaring independence from Britain was reportedly signed by residents of Charlotte upon hearing of the Battle of Lexington, although some historians believe the “Meck-Dec”, as it’s called, may have been produced at a later date to reflect the May 31, 1775 Mecklenburg Resolves.Rep. John Blust (R-Guilford) summed up the importance of the Mecklenburg residents’ courage, explaining that history is not inevitable, but instead the result of often difficult decisions.”This was the first step of a long process that led to our national Declaration of Independence,” said Blust. “We should be proud as North Carolinians that some of our citizens at the time went first. It was a momentous and courageous thing to do because this was viewed as treason by the powers at the time.”After adopting the resolution and making a series of committee meeting schedule announcements the lawmakers adjourned from the historic House chamber, leaving it to once again to grade-schoolers on field trips to learn about the remarkable history of the Old North State.
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