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Heard on the Fourth of July -- from Frederick Douglass to Ronald Reagan
Heard on the Fourth of July -- from Frederick Douglass to Ronald Reagan

Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate the nation's founding with picnics, fireworks, music and speechifying. Noah Remnick compiled these excerpts from notable Fourth of July speeches: Frederick Douglass, Rochester, N.Y., 1852 What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: A day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality,...

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