Independence Day – July 4th – What’s It All About?
Americans celebrate their Independence Day on July 4th every year. The country got its independence in 1776, which means the citizens of the United States will be celebrating their 242nd Independence Day this year. Since 1941, The Fourth of July has been a federal holiday which means people can put all their time and effort towards celebrating this important day in the country’s timeline.
This is a great time to know some important facts about the American Independence Day, popularly referred to as the Fourth of July.
The United States of America constituted of 13 colonies. These included:
- New Jersey
- Massachusetts Bay
- South Carolina
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- Providence Plantations
The last one was a collection of states on the East Coast. The continent had been under British control since 1587. While there was no friction between the British and the locals in the initial years, a rift started developing when the British began to exert their influence.
A Virginian delegate, Richard Henry Lee, passed a resolution of Independence in June, 1776 which was approved by all the 13 colonies in a meeting in Philadelphia the very next month.
The Drafting of the Declaration of Independence
A formal ‘Declaration of Independence’ statement was drafted by a five-man committee chosen for the purpose. Technically, the separation of the 13 colonies happened on July 2. However, as the draft was signed on July 4, this day was considered as the one on which the nation was born and the American colonies were declared free from Great Britain and its king.
However, the revolutionary war ended officially in 1783, when the Treaty of Paris was signed by King George III. The first Independence Day was celebrated in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776.
Some Strange Coincidences
The Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson who went on to become the President of America from 1801 to 1809. In what can be termed as a curious coincidence, he passed away on July 4, 1826.
There are two other American Presidents who also passed away on the country’s Independence Day – The 2nd President, John Adams, and the 5th President, James Monroe. The 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, was born on this date in 1872.
The tradition of celebration of the American Independence Day goes back to 1776. Enthusiastic participation can be seen in parades while others go for picnics. Fireworks and concerts are also key elements of the celebrations. The US military bases celebrate the day with the ‘Salute of the Union’.
On this day, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped 13 times to remind people of the 13 American colonies. The 13 stars placed in a circle on the original American flag also represent the 13 American colonies.
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