Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The History of the Fourth

It's not a big secret that Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. All time favorite.
Picnics, Watermelon, Adult beverages, fireworks... what could be better then that??

Every year I try to do a big lunch before we head off to watch fireworks. I'm also known to film the firework show...

But why do we celebrate the 4th of July? What is the History behind the day??

The Fourth of July is to celebrate when the United States became it's own independent nation on July 4th, 1776. The Declaration of Independence was given it's final approval by the Continental Congress.
People didn't celebrate Independence Day for the first 15 - 20 years after the Declaration was written.

John Adams was persistent that he wanted us to celebrate the 4th & even wrote about it to Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776. In 1817 John Adams complained that it wasn't celebrated. Thomas Jefferson & John Adams both passed away on July 4th, 1826 ~ and may have helped promote the celebration of Independence day. It wasn't until 1940 that the Fourth of July became declared a National holiday.

So why the fireworks?

It was in the letter that John Adams wrote to Abigail Adams that the 4th should be celebrated "with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells and Bonfires and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward and Forever more". The first commemorative Independence fireworks were set off on July 4th, 1977.

So while we are watching the beautiful firework show this year .. silently thank John Adams for his belief that this should just what it is. Celebrated and remembered with "Illuminations from one end of the continent to the other" for the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


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