A Brief History of Independence Day

Independence Day

The 4th of July is just around the corner, and most of the United States is gearing up for a long holiday weekend. There is more to this day than just a long weekend. This became a federal holiday in 1941, but we have been celebrating this holiday much longer than that.

During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress met and declared their independence from England, signing the Declaration of Independence on July 2, 1776. It was ratified and adopted by the original 13 colonies on July 4, 1776. 

A Few Fun Facts About Independence Day:
  • Very few colonists wanted independence from Britain when the hostilities first broke out. These colonists were considered radicals in the beginning. Later, many of these radicals became our founding fathers. 
  • Thomas Paine’s Common Sense helped to spread the fervor for independence from Britain. 
  • A five-man committee was formed to draft a declaration for independence. These men were: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert R. Livingston. Although they worked as a committee, Thomas Jefferson wrote the bulk of the Declaration of Independence. 
  • 50 years after the passing of the Declaration of Independence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, founding fathers and Presidents of the United States, died within a few hours of each other.
  • Adams and Jefferson were friends who had a feud that lasted for many years. In the last few years of their lives, they patched their friendship and kept in touch until the end. 

John Adams wrote to his wife that Independence day “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.

As we celebrate this independence day, we remember the original meaning of this day that brings this fabulous holiday about and the men and women who have gone on to serve our great nation through the Armed Forces.

 

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.

~Elmer Davis~

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness.

~Louis D. Brandeis~

America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination.

~Harry S. Truman~

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