The American Day of Independence is celebrated throughout the nation on 4th of July each year, marked by patriotic displays by members of both the public and the government. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation’s heritage, laws, history, society, and people.
The day has been a federal holiday in the United States of America since 1941. However, the tradition of celebration goes all the way back to the American Revolution in 1776.
On July 2nd, the Continental Congress declared that the thirteen colonies were now officially independent of British Rule. They were no longer subject to regulations and laws under the British Crown. They were united, free and independent states.
Two days later, the delegates from the colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. The resolution had first been proposed by Richard Lee in June of that same year. The Lee Resolution, named after Richard Henry Lee, was formally passed by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. News of the development was published that same evening in the Pennsylvania Evening Post and the following day in the Pennsylvania Gazette.
The Second Continental Congress meeting was held at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1776. Authored by Thomas Jefferson, the declaration clearly stated that the Thirteen Colonies were at war with the Kingdom of Britain. These new states then took a step forward and formed the United States of America.
The Declaration of Independence was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
From the very beginning, Americans celebrated Independence Day on July 4th every year. Historians have long disputed whether the Declaration was signed on the second or the fourth day of July in 1776. However, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on July 4th.
There are also some reports that the Declaration was in fact signed a month after its adoption, on August 2nd, 1776.
It was in the year 1781 that the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration. Two years later, in 1783, the town of Salem held the first public event celebrating the fourth of July.
It was a challenging musical event with the program, entitled The Psalm of Joy, assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. It was carefully documented by the Moravian Church. There are no other government records of any previous Independence Day events.
In 1780, the United States Congress made July 4th an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1983, Congress officially declared it a paid holiday for federal employees. This is why non-essential federal institutions are closed on that day each year (including the postal service and federal courts).
Today, Americans celebrate their Day of Independence with their families, friends and loved ones. They host barbeque’s or attend picnics. Homes are decorated with the national colors of the American flag: red, white and blue a night before. On the morning of Fourth of July, public parades are often held before family get-together take place while fireworks displays occur in the evening after dark at many family public and tourist spots, including parks, fairgrounds or town squares.