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Independence Day - 4th of July
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History of 4th of July

We celebrate Independence Day to commemorate that auspicious July 4th in 1776 when the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, formally declaring the independence of the American colonies from the United Kingdom. Thomas Jefferson is recognized as the principal writer of the Declaration of Independence, although the Jefferson version was revised a couple times before actually being adopted by the Continental Congress.

John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence first, and did so with much fanfare and in the largest handwriting of all the signers. As a result of his prominent signature, his name has come to be a colloquialism in America for anyone's signature.

John Adams, later to become President of the United States, predicted in July of 1776 in a letter to his wife, Abigail, that Independence Day festivities would be celebrated with fireworks (illuminations):

"The day (Independence Day) will be the most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade...bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore." Today, Independence Day has become as much a day of celebrating the American family as celebrating American independence and freedom. Families get together in backyards and parks for picnics, fellowship, games, and, of course, fireworks.

Independence Day Celebrated July 4th

4th of July | Born on the Fourth of July | Star Spangled Banner | Magna Carta | Guidelines for Displaying the Flag | Declaration of Independence