The first date is July 4, 1776.
The second date is more than a year earlier: April 19, 1775.
And the third date is September 3, 1783.
We all know the first date -- July 4th, 1776 -- as the date the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.
What we need to remember, though, is that the Declaration of Independence didn’t start the American Revolutionary War.
That’s why the second date (April 19, 1775) is important -- it’s the day, fifteen months earlier, that the war did start, as the first shots were fired in the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
By the time the Continental Congress declared our independence from Great Britain, we’d already been in armed conflict for over a year.
Which brings us to the third date -- September 3, 1783 -- a date even less familiar, but equally important to remember this Independence Day weekend.
It’s the date, eight years and five months after the bloodshed at Lexingto…