Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meaning of Fourth of July

U.S. national holiday, Independence Day or commonly known as the Fourth of July, is commemorating the adoption of Declaration of Independence that happened on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

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Fourth of July is commonly celebrated with fireworks,carnivals and parades, picnics and barbecues, concerts, baseball games, ceremonies and political speeches, and other private and public events that honor U.S. traditions, government and history.

Happy Fourth of July!
Photo courtesy of zxgirl
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Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July?

During the American Revolutionary War, the formal separation of the American Colonies from the Kingdom of Great Britain happened on July 2, 1776. That's when the Second Continental Congress voted for approval of a resolution of independence that had been proposed by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia about a month before, in June.

The sound and the fury
Royal Irish Artilllery - American Independence Festival - Exeter, New Hampshire
Photo and comment above - courtesy of sskennel
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After choosing the independence, Congress placed its attention to the Declaration of Independence, an allegation explaining this agreement. Declaration of Independence had been put together by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, and approved it on July 4.

Jefferson on Water
Photo of Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. - courtesy of Stuck in Customs
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Only one day earlier, John Adams had written 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.

San Diego Skyline Under the Fireworks
Fourth of July in San Diego! These fireworks were launched from one of 4 barges placed in the bay and they were all launching simultaneously.
Photo courtesy of TallCJ
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Adams' forecast was off by two days because from the very beginning, Americans celebrated their independence on July 4, and not July 2 - the date when the resolution of independence was approved.

Bald Eagle--Happy Fourth Of July
Photo courtesy of birder7
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There's a myth about Independence Day - that Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It had become so deep-rooted that, decades after the event, toward the end of their lives, even the elderly Thomas Jefferson and John Adams accepted that they had all signed the Declaration on July 4. In reality, most delegates signed it on August 2, 1776.

FOURTH OF JULY, ALASKAN STYLE (5) ...
Photo FOURTH OF JULY, ALASKAN STYLE - courtesy of hegarveys3
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The two founding fathers of the United States - and the only two men who signed the Declaration of Independence and became presidents, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, passed away on the same day: July 4, 1826 - the 50th anniversary of the United States.

Five years later, on July 4, 1831, president James Monroe died. He was not one of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence.

Happy 4th of July! The American Flag in Fireworks
Photo "Happy 4th of July! The American Flag in Fireworks" - courtesy of BL1961
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Happy fourth of July!
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To take a peak at how other nations celebrate their Independence Day, click on the link below:
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the intresting information. I really liked it!

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