History of Independence Day
Starting in 1776 and continuing since, the 4th of July has been celebrated as the birth of American independence. The most typical celebrations and festivities include fireworks, parades, concerts, and on the more casual side, family gatherings and barbecues. Perhaps even a pool party!
A few of the initially battles of the Revolutionary War actually began in April of 1775. At that time, only a few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical. By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” which was published in early 1776.
On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in for complete independence in a nearly unanimous vote. On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” Adams held this belief, as he reportedly refused to attend events that were held on the 4th for the remainder of his life.
However, July 4th has become the popular date for celebration since that is the day that Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.
Want to show off some knowledge at this your Independence Day festivities this year? State this piece of trivia…John Adams and Thomas Jefferson actually both died on July 4th of 1826.
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