Amid their plans for picnics, fireworks and fun over the July Fourth weekend, Americans seriously take this opportunity to show their patriotism and love of country.
They attend patriotic parades and fireworks demonstrations, salute the flag, tell stories about how family members fought for our country, and remember to honor our present defenders in foreign lands.
Independence Day is the most important holiday of the summer. It carries a tradition that began with the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. John Adams, one of the declaration signers and future president said: “It will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, shells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward evermore.”
And so it is.
Fireworks fulfill Adams’ prediction for “illuminations.” In cities and towns, the skies fill with dramatic, colorful and startling shell bursts. Many demonstrations in cities are so impressive they draw viewers from miles away to view them. Some Americans take illuminations personally and create their own fireworks shows. In many neighborhoods, stay-at-home celebrants can view neighbors’ shell bursts that are almost as dramatic as those fired by professionals.
Remember safety first!
July 4, Independence Day in the United States, is the day we commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in which we declared independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776.
It’s a day that we celebrate with parades, picnics, barbecues, fairs, baseball games, concerts, and fireworks at dark.
If you’d like to read more about U.S. history, look in the 973 non fiction section of the library.
> Fifty-six members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. Many gave their lives and their fortunes for the cause.
The British captured and tortured five. Nine fought and died in the Revolution. Two lost sons to the war. Another had two sons captured. Eleven had their homes pillaged and burned. The British used the home of one signer, Thomas Nelson, as their headquarters. After they moved in, Nelson demanded that the patriot army destroy the home in order to drive the British out. He died penniless.
Farmer “Honest John Hart” suffered greatly. Hessian mercenaries burned his farm and grist mill and killed his livestock. Hart’s wife became ill and, while the British besieged his farmhouse, he refused to leave his wife. After his wife died, and the aged Hart fled into the forest, eluding the British by living in the woods and in caves. His 13 children scattered to relatives and friends.
Richard Stockton, a judge, was captured, tortured and starved. He lost all his money and property and died soon after his release. His family lived off charity.
Of those who survived the Revolution, six signed the U.S. Constitution. Thirteen went on to become governors of their states. Eighteen served in their state legislatures, and 16 became state or federal judges. Seven became members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and six became senators.
Five played major roles in establishing colleges and universities: Franklin and the University of Pennsylvania, Jefferson and the University of Virginia, Benjamin Rush and Dickinson College
July 4, or Independence Day, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.
The Revolutionary War was fought to cement this declaration. Led by George Washington, the war against the British went on until 1783.
In the United States, July 4 is a federal holiday. Americans celebrate our nation’s birthday with parades, picnics, fireworks and patriotic displays.
Books on the history of the United States can be found in the 973 non-fiction section.