Independence Day: A Celebration of America's Freedom
Every year on the Fourth of July, Americans come together to celebrate the birth of their nation with fireworks, parades, and barbecues. But do you know the story behind this iconic day?
A Revolutionary Beginning
In 1776, during the thick of the American Revolutionary War, delegates from 13 North American colonies of the Kingdom of Great Britain made a bold move. They voted to declare their independence from the monarchy, giving birth to the United States of America. On July 4th, the Declaration of Independence was signed, marking the beginning of a new era for the colonies.
The Road to a National Holiday
For the first 15 to 20 years after the Declaration was signed, it wasn't celebrated. The country was too young and had too many other things to worry about. However, by the 1790s, the Declaration became a political hot potato. One party, the Democratic-Republicans, revered it, while the Federalists considered it overly French and anti-British, which went against their goals.
But everything changed after the War of 1812. The Federalist Party crumbled, and the new parties saw themselves as the heirs of Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans. Printed copies of the Declaration started circulating, all bearing the date of July 4, 1776.
The deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4, 1826, only added to the significance of the date. Over time, celebrations grew more frequent, and in 1870, Congress finally designated July 4th as a national holiday.
Fireworks and Freedom
Did you know that the tradition of setting off fireworks on the Fourth of July dates back to 1777? In Philadelphia, a salute of 13 gunshots was fired in the morning and evening during the first organized celebration of Independence Day. George Washington even gave his men a double rum ration to celebrate the day in 1778!
One of America's founding fathers, John Adams, had actually envisioned fireworks as part of the Independence Day celebrations. And today, Americans continue to light up the sky with spectacular displays every year.
Independence Day Fun Facts
Here are some fascinating tidbits about America's birthday:
- Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who signed the Declaration, died on July 4, 1826 – the 50th anniversary of the document.
- Thomas Jefferson wrote most of the Declaration of Independence.
- The American Revolution actually began in April 1775, over a year before the Declaration was signed.
- On July 2, 1776, Congress voted for independence. John Adams believed that July 2nd should be the day marked in history and celebrated with fireworks and festivities.
- It wasn't until 1941 that Independence Day became a paid official holiday.
- Americans consume over 150 million hot dogs on July 4th.
- July 4th is the most popular holiday for barbecues, followed by Memorial Day and Labor Day.
- Over 14,000 fireworks displays will light up the night sky across America on Independence Day, according to the American Pyrotechnic Association.
How Can You Celebrate Independence Day?
Get out there and join the fun! Attend local events or travel to meet friends and family. Don't forget to get your 4th of July Apparel from Goats Trail Off-Road Apparel Company.