“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The United States Independence Day falls on July 4. It is a federal holiday observed yearly by Americans. On this day in 1776, is when the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America from Great Britain was made public. It was then designated a national holiday to honor the day the United States became a free and independent nation.
History of the 4th of July
Back to the 18th century during the American Revolution, the representatives of the 13 colonies weighed a resolution that would declare independence of the United States from Great Britain. Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed a resolution of independence in which the second Continental Congress voted to approve. Two days after, the delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.
There is still uncertainties whether the declaration was approved on July 4 since some historians concluded that it was signed a month after its adaptation (August 2). Still, the holiday is celebrated on the fourth of July as it is commonly believed. Unexpectedly, on the 50th anniversary of the celebration, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died. The two are the only signers of the Declaration of Independence who later on served as Presidents of the United States.
Today the original copy of the declaration is housed in the National Archives in Washington DC.
Independence Day Celebration
The holiday falls on a different day of the week each year. If July 4 falls on Sunday, it is observed the next day (Monday, July 5). If July 4 is a Saturday it is observed a day in advance (Friday, July 3).
In the letter of John Adams to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776, he described how Independence Day would be celebrated. Throughout the United States, there should be “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations”.
Independence Day is a day of family celebration with picnics and barbecues. Government offices, schools, and some business are closed for the day. Activities are conducted such as hotdog eating competitions, baseball game, and swimming activities. People display the American flag outside their homes and building. Fireworks are accompanied by patriotic songs and the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ (the United States’ national anthem) is sung. Politicians appear at public events to show their support to the history, heritage, and the people of their country. In military bases, a salute of one gun for each state of the United State (called a salute to the union) is fired on noon of Independence Day.
People show a great deal of emphasis on the American tradition of political freedom and patriotism. It is a way of expressing and giving thanks for the freedom and liberties fought by the first generations of American.