Independence Day – July 4th
Independence Day is also known as July 4th and it is celebrated annually in the United States.
It was on this day that the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.
It is designated as a day to recognize the spirit and valor of the freedom fighters.
Discouraged and outraged by British rule, Freedom fighters fought for independence. They were eager to end ties with King George III.
The Americans saw King George III as nothing less than a tyrant.
The Declaration of Independence
On June 7th of 1776, amid growing hostility towards the British rule, congress met at The Pennsylvania House, which is now known as Independence Hall. They met to discuss ways to break ties with the British monarchy and gain back their own freedom.
Richard Henry Lee, the Virginia delegate put forth a resolution calling for the colonies independence. After a much heated debate, Congress decided rather than a vote, they would appoint a five man committee to address the resolution.
The committee was to draft a formal statement to justify why the colonies should break ties with the British, which they would then present to congress.
The five committee members were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and William Livingstone. Together they began to write their draft.
The principal author was Thomas Jefferson.
He later became the third president of the United States
The committee completed their draft and then presented it to congress on July 2nd, 1776
Although it was presented to and adopted by congress on July 2nd it was not signed until July 4th, 1776.
July 4th was formerly the day that was celebrated in honor of the King’s birthday. Fittingly, it now became a platform to denounce the King.
The signing of the Declaration of Independence had freed the United States from the rule of Great Britain and in particular King George III.
It brought with it new found freedoms and a deeper sense of pride and patriotism among the American people.
No longer would they be ruled by the King and his monarchy! Now they were free to be a nation that is governed by its own laws.
Independence Day Symbolizes Freedom
The Declaration of Independence allowed the thirteen colonies to break from the ties of the British rule.
Finally, America had achieved its goal of gaining independence, liberty and freedom!
However, in the early days the colonists still held much contempt for the King.
They showed this contempt by burning effigies of the King .They held mock funerals for him which symbolized the death of the monarchy.
Celebrating July 4th
Today July 4th is celebrated with much pomp and fanfare.
Towns and communities celebrate with military parades and speeches. American flags are proudly flown across the nation.
Picnics , music and barbecues are held at community centers and parks. Fireworks fill the night skies to signify pride and nationalism.
It is a day to honor those who fought bravely for national freedoms and rights.
Independence Day Trivia
- John Adams firmly believed that since congress adopted the bill on July 2nd, that this was the day that it should be celebrated. In protest he refused to accept invitations to or attend any events on July 4th.
- A Salute to the Union is done at many military bases across the nation. Rifles are fired annually at noon on July 4th. One round is fired for every state in the United States.
- Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4th,1826. The 50th anniversary of America’s independence.
- After a reading of the newly written Declaration of Independence an angry crowd in New York showed their contempt for the King. They tore down the two ton equestrian statue of King George III that stood in Bowling Green. The statue was later melted down to make 42,000 musket balls for the imminent war.
- A group of loyalists led by Job Burlock stole several pieces of the destroyed statue and buried them in the town of Wilton.
- In 1991 a Wilton resident working in his garden unearthed a lead hand and foreman that is believed to be from that of the statue. Not surprisingly the land was formerly owned by the Job Burdock!
“America means opportunity, freedom, power”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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