The Fourth of July is probably one of the biggest and most well-known holidays that is strictly celebrated in the United States. The holiday marks the day the U.S. officially gained independence from the British after the Revolutionary War. Delegates from the 13 colonies got together on July 4, 17766 to sign the Declaration of Independence, making the new nation completely independent. Just two days before, on July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted for independence.
Because Congress voted for independence on July 2nd, some people stood by the notion that U.S. Independence Day should be celebrated on July 2nd.
John Adams famously was one who never abandoned the idea that we should not celebrate the 4th of July as the day we gained independence. He was so passionate about this matter, during his presidency, he even went as far as to refuse to go to 4th of July celebrations out of protest over the day.
However, John did also famously write a letter to his wife Abigail on July 2nd stating the day would be celebrated for generations to come with parades, games, sports, bonfires, illuminations, and so many more activities. While his idea of when the day should be celebrated did not succeed, his premonitions of what our celebrations would look like were very accurate.
The first celebration of Independence Day involved many of the aforementioned activities, as well as fake funerals of King George III, meant to ridicule the British and mark the end of their reign over the colonies.
Massachusetts became the first colony to declare July 4th a holiday after the key battle of the Battle of Yorktown was won.
As time went on, the 4th of July became a day that political leaders could connect with the people and celebrate. Towards the end of the 18th century, the Federalist Party and Democratic-Republican Party hosted their own Independence Day celebrations to get to know the individuals in their party.
While celebrations began as soon as 1777, the holiday was not signed into officiality and made a federal holiday until 1870. In 1941, Congress declared it a paid holiday for all federal employees, a practice many companies participate in now.
As we have grown further from the Revolutionary War, the political significance has waned for many. While some do still think of the symbolic history of the day, most view the day as a day of just summertime celebration. Red, white, and blue decorations tend to fill barbeques, pool parties, fireworks show, and parades.
We want to wish you all a happy and safe Fourth of July!