HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY
Independence Day, commonly known today as the 4th of July, has been celebrated for the past 242 years. I prefer to wish you a “Happy Independence Day” since that is really what we are celebrating. Besides, all other countries have a “4th of July,” but that day in history is special to us here in the USA.
Read on IF you want “A little bit of History. If you don’t, leave and go have a “blast” anyway.
Here is a little bit of history, which may or may not be taught in schools today, as “History” seems to be on the way out, but as George Santayana once said, “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it,” as written in his book The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense.”
Independence Day, commonly known today as the 4th of July, has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.
When the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, however, by the middle of the following year, many more colonists were in favor of complete independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in the bestselling book/pamphlet “Common Sense,” published by Thomas Paine in early 1776.
On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence.
Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution but appointed a five-man committee – including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York – to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.
Did You Know? Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and James Monroe died on the 4th, five years later.After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties – the Federalist Party and Democratic-Republicans* – that had arisen began holding separate Fourth of July celebrations in many large cities. Geeze – just think of what “We, the People,” might accomplish now, IF we had a *Democratic-Republican combined efforts for “The People,” and not just for “The Party” or a “nice, but unrealistic ideology.
“Independence Day” became even more widespread after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees.
Over the years, the political importance of the holiday has declined, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism. Today, people in all 50 states will enjoy the celebration with parades, speeches, patriotic music, and yes… fireworks. More than 14,000 fireworks displays will be held and the largest, the Macy’s celebration in New York will “spark-up” the evening sky with ~75,000 pounds of pyrotechnics. So, where ever you are today, enjoy and respect the Freedoms we have, (although diminishing) for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and stand to preserve them.
Follow: Jeffress.com. Credit to: www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/american-revolution-history