Despite the Fourth of July only being a federal holiday since 1941, this special holiday dates back to the 18th century. This revolutionary holiday is celebrated every year in the United States with a wide variety of festivities. Despite out methods of celebration, the Fourth of July wasn’t all about fireworks and hot dogs, it’s a day to celebrate the United States independence.
America’s Motion For Independence
At the beginning of the Revolutionary War very few colonists actually wanted independence from Great Britain. It wasn’t until half way through the following year that more colonists began to become hostile towards Great Britain. Continental Congress met on June 7th, 1776 in Philadelphia to discuss the colonies becoming independent. Richard Henry Lee, Virginia’s delegate, initially proposed the motion to gain independence for the colonies.
After a lengthy and heated discussion, Congress appointed five men to create and draft a statement justifying this decision. These men were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston. The document would eventually be known as the Declaration of Independence.
Finally on July 2nd, Continental Congress met again to vote on Richard Henry Lee’s proposition. Congress voted in favor for colonies independence by a land slide. Although Congress voted on this motion on July 2nd, two days later the Declaration of Independence was formally adopted. Even though the actual vote took place on the 2nd, the 4th is the day that we all recognize as the birth of the United States independence.
Celebrating America’s Independence
The first annual Fourth of July celebration on July 4th, 1777 took place in Philadelphia. Once the war ended, the Fourth of July was still celebrated by Americans. As time went on, more and more cities began hosting celebrations for the public. Celebrating the Forth of July was beginning to become a tradition. Finally in 1941, Congress declared the Forth of July a federal holiday.
Unlike some holidays, the Fourth of July never lost it’s significance. Despite celebrating with fireworks and BBQ’s, Americans still continue to appreciate and recognize the importance of this monumental day.