Sunday, June 8, 2008

Why I did it

Live Free or Die
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This article is about the state motto. For other uses, see Live Free or Die (disambiguation).
"Live Free or Die" is the official motto of the U.S. state of New Hampshire, adopted by the General Court in 1945. It is possibly the best-known of all state mottos, partly because it speaks to an aggressive independence inherent in American political philosophy and partly because of its contrast to the milder sentiments usually found in such mottos.
The phrase comes from a toast written by General John Stark on July 31, 1809. Poor health forced Stark, New Hampshire's most famous soldier of the American Revolutionary War, to decline an invitation to an anniversary reunion of the Battle of Bennington and to send his toast by letter:
"Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils. "
It may have an earlier origin, as mentioned in Burke's 1758 The Annual Register of World Events: A Review of the Year, q.v. at google books.
The motto was enacted at the same time as the state emblem, on which it appears.

1 comment:

Mollena said...

I am moved by your touching tribute to the servicemen who lost their lives in The Green Ramp Disaster