The History of the 4th of July
July 4th has often been referred to as the birthday of our nation for good reason. The 4th of July, also commonly referred to as Independence Day, dates back to the American Revolution when representatives from the 13 colonies drafted a resolution to declare their independence from Great Britain.
On 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence. Then, two days later on July 4th, the delegates officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, a document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.
The 4th of July becomes a National Holiday
Since 1776, July 4th has been traditionally celebrated as the birth of American independence. It was not until 1870, however, that the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday. And it was not until 1941, that the 4th of July was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees.
Cookouts, Fireworks, and the 4th of July
Today, the 4th of July has become synonymous with cookouts, parades, and fireworks. But where did this tradition come from? How did we get from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to hotdogs, hamburgers, and fireworks?
Following the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Americans stormed the streets, cheering and celebrating. The next year, in 1777, the city of Philadelphia celebrated the anniversary of the adoption by ringing bells, lighting candles, firing guns, and setting of fireworks. Celebrations like these grew in popularity throughout the years, evolving further when July 4th was made a federal holiday. Eventually, the 4th of July evolved into a family-centric celebration of America, including parades, cookouts, fireworks, and much more.
Over the years, though the historical importance of the 4th of July may have been slowly forgotten, the day remains an important national holiday and celebration of patriotism!
Happy 4th of July from Everyone here at Observation Baltimore!
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