From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence. How remarkable is it that this year marks our 241st year of celebration?
On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2nd “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.”
However, although the vote for independence took place on the 2nd, it wasn’t until July 4th that Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, largely written by Thomas Jefferson. From then on, July 4th became the day celebrated as the birth of American independence.
According to History.com, John Adams so strongly believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, he reportedly turned down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest.
But he was correct in his premonition of how this holiday would be celebrated by future generations. Independence Day celebrations typically include barbecues, picnics, parades, baseball games – and a whole lot of fireworks.
Did you know? In an odd twist of fate, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Attending a Fourth of July parade, hosting a barbecue with family and friends, and finding a good fireworks show can help us get into a patriotic mood, remind us of what it means to be an American and feel a sense of camaraderie with our community.
However you choose to celebrate Independence Day, we wish you a safe and happy holiday!