Happy Independence Day!
This fourth of July we recognize the 241st anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. On July 2, 1776 the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. After voting for independence, Congress established the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining their decision. Congress debated and revised the wording of the document for two days- approving it on July 4, 1776.
A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch 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 commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
John Adams's prediction was insightful, but off by two days. Americans have always celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the more well-known Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved by Congress.
Another interesting occurrence on July 4th- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both signers of the Declaration of Independence and former Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was also the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.
As predicted by Adams, one of the ways Americans celebrate the 4th of July is by attending or participating in a local parade. I've listed some of the local 4th of July Parades.