What is the United States Independence Day?
Independence Day, often known as July 4th, has been a federal holiday in the US since 1941, but the custom stretches back to the 18th- century American Revolution. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted for independence, and two days later, 13 colonies’ delegates adopted Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. Since 1776, the Fourth of July has been celebrated with pyrotechnics, parades, concerts, and family barbecues. Tuesday, July 4, 2023
When the Revolutionary War began in April 1775, only radical colonists wanted independence from Great Britain.
Due to growing hatred towards Britain and the propagation of revolutionary ideas such as those in Thomas Paine’s 1776 essay “Common Sense,” more colonists backed independence by the middle of the following year.
At the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on June 7, Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee proposed the colonies’ independence.
The Continental Congress virtually unanimously approved Lee’s independence resolution on July 2 (the New York delegation abstained but later voted in favor). On this date, John Adams wrote to Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated by succeeding Generations as the Great Anniversary Festival” with “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”
The Continental Congress ratified Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The 4th is regarded as the birth of American freedom, even though the vote for true independence happened on July 2.
Early Fourth of July Celebrations and Traditions
Bell-ringing, bonfires, processions, and speeches marked the monarch’s birthday before the American Revolution. In the summer of 1776, some colonists staged sham funerals for King George III to celebrate the end of monarchy and the triumph of liberty.
Concerts, bonfires, parades, and cannon and musket launches usually followed the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence. While Congress was distracted by the war, Philadelphia held the first annual independence celebration on July 4, 1777.
In 1778, George Washington gave all his soldiers double rum rations on Independence Day, and Massachusetts was the first state to declare July 4th a state holiday in 1781, some months before the critical Battle of Yorktown.
After the Revolutionary War, Americans celebrated Independence Day annually, allowing new political leaders to address the public and promote national unity. By the end of the 18th century, the Federalist Party and Democratic-Republicans, the two main political parties, held separate Fourth of July celebrations in several large cities.
Independence Day Celebrations
Family picnics and barbecues celebrate American political independence on Independence Day. The day features watermelon or hotdog eating contests and sports including baseball, three-legged races, swimming, and tug-of-war.
July 4th is celebrated with pyrotechnics and American flags outside homes and businesses. TV shows the best fireworks. New York and Washington, D.C., have 4th of July parades and other public festivities.
Some workers take a long weekend to visit their favorite beach or vacation area.
Independence Day celebrates America. Politicians attend public events to support their nation’s history, traditions, and people.
Above all, Americans thank their ancestors for fighting for freedom and liberty. Independence Day’s Statue of Liberty
Is Independence Day a national holiday?
State holiday. Closed state offices. This day may also close schools and businesses.
Independence Day is federally recognized. If July 4 is a Saturday, it is celebrated on Friday, July 3. July 5 is observed if July 4 falls on a Sunday. The government and schools are closed. Some firms may close.
Many employees use vacation days to make a long weekend some years. This might affect traffic, especially near vacation spots.
Parades, entertainment, and pyrotechnics are common. This may disrupt local traffic. Public transit rarely follows schedules.
Independence Day History
The thirteen colonies rebelled against King George III in 1775. Congress secretly declared independence on July 2, 1776. The Declaration of Independence was finalized and published two days later, on July 4, 1776. July 8, 1776, was the Declaration’s first public reading. On August 2, 1776, delegates began signing the Declaration.
Independence Day became an unpaid federal holiday in 1870. They got paid holidays in 1941.
John Adams wrote to Abigail on July 3, 1776, describing Independence Day. He described “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations” across the US. Until 1791, “Independence Day” was not used.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, signers of the Declaration of Independence and presidents of the United States, died on July 4, 1826—exactly 50 years after its adoption.
Before European invaders arrived, each tribe of Native Americans had its own nation and government.
The most famous Fourth of July celebration involves fireworks. The Pennsylvania Evening Post reported the first celebration on July 4, 1777, as “joy and festivities.”
Ships “dressed in the gayest manner, with the colors of the United States and streamers displayed,” approached the city and fired 13 cannon shots—one for each colony-turned-state. The Evening Post called 13 pyrotechnics in Philadelphia and Boston city commons a “grand exhibition of fireworks… and the city was beautifully illuminated.”
Dr. Tyler Putman, senior manager of exhibition interpretation at the Museum of the American Revolution, said fireworks were used in the colonies before 1776, but not as lavishly.
“You would have seen fireworks at a lot of festivities, celebrations, anniversaries, you know, things like the king’s birthday or big events, but they often weren’t enormous, launched-in-the-sky fireworks,” he told USA TODAY.
“People would build these kinds of structures and frameworks that would then catch on fire, or parts of them would launch off, and often they would be in certain shapes, like a bunch of stars or a dancing person, kind of like Burning Man.”
Putman says fireworks weren’t developed until the 18th century.
On the Fourth of July, Main Street in any U.S. town may host a parade. Early correspondence regarding the unofficial festival mentions parades, another Revolution-era institution.
“The most memorable epoch in the History of America. − I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival,” John Adams wrote to his daughter Abigail Adams on July 2, 1776.
Adams incorrectly predicted the holiday would be celebrated on the second rather than the fourth, but he was right about the partying.
“It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more,” he wrote.
Armies marched through the streets during the Revolutionary War. Putman said parades didn’t look like they do today until the late 1700s to early 1800s, following the conflict.
When parades commemorated events, they weren’t filled with marching bands and firetrucks but with town folk. Butchers and shipbuilders would walk together, and horses would tow large floats along the street.
“Sometimes you read about parades where, like, in Philadelphia, tens of thousands of people are in the parade, and you kind of wonder who is left to watch,” Putman said. “There are so many people; if all the shipwrights, shoemakers, and grocers are already marching the parade, it’s mostly just kids who are like, ‘Well, I guess I’ll wait as this 10,000-person parade goes by.’”
American Independence Day celebrations include family barbeques, parades, fireworks, and everything red. When the Second Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the Fourth of July began its transformation into a national holiday. By July 2, 1776, 12 of the 13 American colonies had passed the resolution, causing John Adams to write his daughter about future July 2 celebrations, but the document declaring independence from Britain wasn’t legally adopted until July 4. After the War of 1812, Americans started rejoicing.
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What is the United States’ Independence Day?
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, which established the United States of America. Independence Day, often known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the US.
On July 4, 1776, what happened in America?
July 4. The Second Continental Congress overwhelmingly adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. The U.S. Constitution governs.
What does 4th of July stand for?
The Continental Congress ratified Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence on July 4. American independence was celebrated on July 4th after the vote for independence on July 2nd.
Is Independence Day just in the US?
Many nations celebrate Independence Day. Denmark, Norway, Ireland, and Sydney celebrate Independence Day.