Why some Americans are more 'independent' than others

To the editor: The Fourth of July means something different to everyone, but not until I read the words of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony did I realize that the problems that were evident more than 160 years ago are similar to the problems we are experiencing today. ("Heard on the Fourth of July -- from Frederick Douglass to Ronald Reagan," Op-Ed, July 3)

Don't believe me? Just ask those who want to take away some people's voting rights or make it too difficult to vote by having some wait hours in line.


Somehow, we as a country tend to forget the problems we have or caused others to experience when the Fourth of July rolls around. It's like going to church on Sunday or on Christmas: By Monday, we're back to our old ways.

Are we that forgetful? Or do we just not care?

Charles P. Martin, Los Angeles


To the editor: Thanks to Noah Remnick for pulling together excerpts from famous Fourth of July speeches.

While relaxing recently at my local bakery, I was politely asked why I was wearing a Juneteenth T-shirt on America's "Independence" Day. Remnick's piece referencing Douglass' 1852 Rochester, N.Y., speech — which included the line, "What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?" — provided the perfect response.

Also, I continue to observe both holidays.

Stan Seidel, Rancho Palos Verdes