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The American Revolution officially comes to an end when representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris on this day in 1783. The signing signified America's status as a free nation, as Britain formally recognized the independence of its 13 former American colonies, and the boundaries of the new republic were agreed upon: Florida north to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic coast west to the Mississippi River. The events leading up to the treaty stretched back to April 1775, on a common green in Lexington, Massachusetts, when American colonists answered King George III's refusal to grant them political and economic reform with armed revolution. On July 4, 1776, more than a year after the first volleys of the war were fired, the Second Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. Five difficult years later, in October 1781, British General Charles Lord Cornwallis...
We are the children of many sires, and every drop of blood in us in its turn ... betrays its ancestor.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We've uncovered some embarrassing ancestors in the not-too-distant past. Some horse thieves, and some people killed on Saturday nights. One of my relatives, unfortunately, was even in the newspaper business.
Former U.S. President
He who has no fools, knaves, or beggars in his family was begot by a flash of lightning.
In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.
Alex Haley, Roots
Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards.
There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children - one is roots, and the other, wings.
Hodding S. Carter
Why waste your money looking up your family tree? Just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.