The History and Importance of Independence Day
American Independence Day was officially established in 1941; however, the celebrations of the 4th of July had been conducted since the time of American Revolution. That was 1776, when 13 American colonies decided to become independent from Great Britain and, on the 4th of July, Thomas Jefferson drafted a historic declaration, thus establishing the annual celebration for ages.
FIRST THOUGHTS OF INDEPENDENCE
During the first days of Revolutionary War in 1775, not so many colonists wanted to gain independence from Great Britain; however, some time later, this number grew rapidly due to the increasing aggression from the side of the mainland. Soon, on the 7th of June, in the Pennsylvania State House, the Continental Congress was gathered, where Richard Henry Lee offered to discuss the opportunity to become independent from Great Britain. Despite the fact that the Congress did not approve Richard’s resolution, the five most important people for the colonies were chosen to conduct a future meeting regarding the independence.
Finally, on the 2nd of July, the Continental Congress approved Richard Lee’s resolution and two days later Thomas Jefferson signed the most valuable document in the history of America. The written evidences open us the letter, which the contemporary senator of Massachusetts sent his wife that day, “the celebration will be tremendous, including the festivals and parades all over the country; various sport competitions, huge bonfires and surely a lot of illuminations from one coast to another.”
FIRST INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS
Before the Revolution, people of America celebrated the birthday of king during this time. After the resolution was accepted, people began to hold the mock funerals of the king to show the end of monarchic ruling. Apart from the usual celebration, the most important part of the day was the reading of the Declaration. While the congress was still busy with the war, Philadelphia was the first to conduct official commemoration. In order to celebrate Independence Day on the battlefield, George Washington praised the soldiers with additional rum ration. Finally, in 1781, a few months before the victorious battle at Yorktown, it was Massachusetts State which became the first to conduct the celebration officially on a state level.
NATIONAL ANNUAL HOLIDAY
Unfortunately, hard times didn’t leave America after the Revolution. In 1812 the conflict against Britain aroused again. However, it resolved quite quickly without any harsh consequences for both sides. In 1870, Independence Day was officially announced as a federal holiday, thus granting a day off for federal workers. For the next few years, the importance of the Independence Day decreased; however, it always remained the most significant symbol of American culture.
Through the years, Independence Day united families and was a perfect time to spend spare time in fresh air. Barbeques during the day, fireworks in the evening – this is how a common holiday is celebrated. The symbols of this memorable day – the American Flag and surely the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” – will follow you during the entire week.