Written by Geno Grubbs
Clarksville, TN – In between the hot dogs and the fireworks as you celebrate this 4th of July, take a few moments to learn a few facts about Independence Day.
Back in 1776, the Second Continental Congress declared the United States of America an independent nation not on July 4th, as more than two centuries of Independence Day celebrations would suggest, but on July 2nd.
John Adams Letter
John Adams, a congressional delegate from Massachusetts and a future president of the new nation, wrote about the vote for independence in a letter to his wife, Abigail:
“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, 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 Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
So why do Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4th? Because that was the date on the Declaration of Independence, a document that was widely publicized and reprinted from one end of the fledgling nation to the other. As a result, the Fourth of July quickly became associated with personal liberty and national independence in the minds of all Americans.