Fourth of July
Every year we dutifully celebrate the Fourth of July on, of all days, the fourth of July.
But what, exactly, are we celebrating? Truth be told, not much. By July Fourth,
1776, our independence had already been declared. That was two days earlier, on the Second.
And the Revolution had been underway for well over a year, starting back in April of 1775. The first
draft of the Declaration of Independence had been written in June of 1776, it was signed on August 2, 1776, and it was officially
delivered to England in November of 1776. (The Story of the Fourth
It was on July 4th, 1776, that the Continental Congress approved the final draft of the
Declaration of Independence. That’s it. In essence, we are celebrating proofreading.
But like all good editors, they dated it. And that’s the date we remember. (The Story of the Fourth of July)
John Adams, with good argument, thought the correct date to celebrate
the birth of America was on July 2nd, and supposedly he never attended any Fourth of July celebrations in protest.
(July 4th) And that makes it all the more ironic that he died on the Fourth of July, along with Thomas Jefferson
and James Monroe – Adams and Jefferson in 1826, and Monroe in 1831. (Bet You Didn’t Know)
the very start, we’ve celebrated the Fourth. The day after the Declaration of Independence’s
adoption on July 4, 1776, copies went out, and it was first published on the 6th by The Pennsylvania Evening
Post. Two days later, in Philadelphia’s Independence Square, the Declaration of Independence
was first read publically. (History of the Fourth) The following celebration, appropriately
enough, included the ringing of the Liberty Bell, as well as anything else that would make noise. (Bet
You Didn’t Know) However, contrary to what some may believe, that wasn’t when the famous bell cracked.
It had been cracked from its very start in 1752. But what do you expect from British bell makers?
(Why is the Liberty Bell Cracked)
During the following years of the Revolutionary War, there were some
parades, shooting of artillery, and public readings of the Declaration of Independence, but nothing on a national scale, even
relative to how small our nation was at the time. But keep in mind, there was a war going on.
In 1777, Philadelphia became the first city to hold an annual celebration on the Fourth, and Massachusetts became the
first state, in 1781, to officially celebrate the holiday. (July 4th)
really until after the War of 1812, when we gave Britain another whoopin’, that the holiday truly started to shape itself
into what we know today – an excuse to drink and to blow things up. The Fourth of July was made a
Federal holiday by Congress in 1870, but it wasn’t until 1941 that it became a paid holiday for all federal employees.
(July 4th) And if you need more trivia than that, the Fourth of July is one of only four
Federal holidays that are celebrated on the same calendar date each year. The others are New Year’s
Day, Veteran’s Day, and Christmas. (Bet You Didn’t Know)
Didn’t Know: Independence Day.” 2014. History.
10 June 2014. http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th/videos/bet-you-didnt-know-independence-day
“History of the Fourth.” 2013.
PBS: KCTS9. 10 June 2014. http://www.pbs.org/capitolfourth/history.html
4th.” 2014. History. 10 June 2014.
“The Story of the Fourth of July.” ConstitutionFacts.com.
10 June 2014. http://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/fourth-of-july/
“Why is the Liberty Bell Cracked.” Wonderopolis.
10 June 2014. http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-is-the-liberty-bell-cracked/