On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee presented the “Lee Resolution” to the Continental Congress. The motion was seconded by John Adams, but was tabled for several weeks. The motion was finally passed on July 2, 1776.
During the 1916 Republican National Convention (June 7 – 10), Senator Warren G. Harding used the phrase “Founding Fathers” in his keynote address . . . and would go on using it in speeches thereafter. It caught on as a eulogistic way to refer to figures such as Thomas Jefferson and, yes, Richard Henry Lee, who orchestrated the American colonies’ break from England’s imperial monarchy.