4th Of July

We just celebrated 4th Of July and since 2005 I have celebrated watching the fireworks over the National Mall in D.C. because I live here in Northern Virginia.  It’s always been enjoyable watching the fireworks even as a kid.  When I lived in Alaska we couldn’t see the fireworks because it was daylight 23 hrs of the day so we had our fireworks during New Years eve.  But watching them over the years it seems they aren’t as fantastic as they were when I was a kid.  When I was a kid they seemed to be bigger and more fantastic than they are now.

One thing I do know it’s not really how fantastic the fireworks are that is important but why we celebrate in the first place.  Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence of 4 July 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on 2 July 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain.  After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committe of Five with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author.  Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on 4 July.  Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on 4 July, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day.  Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after it’s adoption, on 2 August 1776, and not on 4 July as is commonly believed.

In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day:  4 July 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.  Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on 4 July 1831, thus becoming the third president in a row who died on the memorable day.


2 thoughts on “4th Of July

  1. Shannygirl

    I think part of the reason they aren’t as much fun anymore is because we aren’t close to them and we no longer feel the boom as they go off and they don’t seem as big because they aren’t right over our heads.

  2. Kitt Crescendo

    Thank you for the history lesson. Personally, although I love my freedom and the purpose behind the holiday…I have two favorite things about the 4th. The fact that hubby buys a bunch of stuff…then spends the evening blowing shit up much to the joy of the neighborhood kids and their parents who don’t have to fight their way through the crowds at the city fireworks display (and honestly…hubby’s usually ends up being better and longer). And second…the cooking out and hanging by the pool with friends. (Of course this last 4th of July I was fired, but it didn’t stop us from cooking out and hanging with friends. I just got home earlier to do it! 🙂


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