Of course we all know that July 4th is Independence Day – the day we proclaimed our independence from Great Britain. But did you know…
- The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson and revised by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.
- A landmark document, the Declaration of Independence drew on the writings of philosophers like John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau.
- The Continental Congress actually voted in favor of the resolution for independence on July 2nd. It was formally adopted on the 4th (there is still some debate on the exact day).
- John Adams protested the 4th celebrations because he thought the 2nd should be the celebration of our independence.
- On July 2nd John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, “The day will be most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more." Hence the celebration of parades, fireworks, and gatherings.
- By the time of the American Revolution, fireworks had already been a big part of celebrations in the colonies.
- The very first celebration of Independence Day was in 1777, six years before we won our independence from Great Britain. Fireworks were a part of the 1777 celebration.
- July 4th was not made a formal federal holiday until 1941.
- Fireworks have been with Americans since the nation's very beginnings, and now more fireworks and ignited for the Fourth of July Than for any other national celebration in the world.