USA Independence Day 2023: Date, history, significance | July Fourth 2023: 247th American Independence Day | Event Information

Date, history, significance

This holiday celebrates the declaration of independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress of the Second Continental Congress, which unanimously adopted a document proclaiming the separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain.

According to the records of the Congress’s library, a spontaneous celebration in Philadelphia marked the anniversary of American independence.

However, it was not widely observed until after the War of 1812, when the United States began to emerge as a growing nation. The Library of Congress noted that major historical events in the 19th century, such as the Erie Canal and the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, coincided with the festivities of July 4th. Fireworks became a tradition and a significant part of celebrating Independence Day. The founding father John Adams witnessed it firsthand.

Adams wrote in a letter, “The celebration of America’s independence should be marked with great pomp and parade, from one end of this continent to the other, from show, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, forever.” He wrote this to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776.

Fireworks have been associated with the formation of the United States for centuries. The American Pyrotechnics Association states that many historians believe fireworks were first developed in the 2nd century BC in ancient China. In ancient China, hollowed-out bamboo shoots were thrown into fire to create explosions by heating the air trapped inside.

The association states that by the 15th century, fireworks were extensively used in Europe for religious festivals and public entertainment, and early American settlers further popularized these traditions. Has there ever been a president who refused to celebrate? From George Washington to Joe Biden, all the presidents of the United States have celebrated the birth of the nation on July 4th, with one exception: Adams.

In addition to his letter to his wife, Adams refused to celebrate on July 4th because he believed that the real Independence Day was on July 2nd. Why? On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, although the formal adoption of the declaration of independence did not occur until two days later.

Adams was so stubborn about this that he even declined invitations to festivities and other programs, despite serving as the nation’s second president. Ironically, the primary authors of the declaration of independence, Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on the 50th anniversary of its formal adoption, July 4, 1826.

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