I was reading the Wikipedia page talking about Independence Day. It had some interesting information related to how we got July 4th. According to the Wikipedia page, Congress actually declared our independence on July 2, 1776. So, legally, our Independence Day is July 2; however, the statement that laid out our decision was finally approved on July 4. This document was the Declaration of Independence and the date shown on it was July 4. The Declaration of Independence was publicized so much and was so popular that people associated our independence from Britain with July 4, and thus a national holiday was born.
Here is an incredible quote from John Adams. It was written on July 3 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. Massachusetts Historical Society
Obviously, Adams was off by two days.
After reading this quote, written by one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence, I realize that I probably do not celebrate Independence Day as much as I should. Over the years, I have just let it slip by as another holiday that I want to get through. I understand that there is so much more to this day than just getting through it, and Adams saw it.
I am also interested in reading the first way Adams says we are to celebrate our Independence Day: by performing “solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” Is that the first thing we think of when making plans for the Forth of July? I am not sure it is for me.
Second of July Fourth of July, our Independence Day!!