The History of July 4th: Why We Celebrate Independence Day

Fireworks, parades, and barbecues are a few words that come to mind when I think of the holiday, July 4th.

But why do we celebrate this day?

Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in 1776. The American colonies wanted freedom from Great Britain, and on July 2, the Continental Congress voted for independence.

The Continental Congress representatives formally approved and signed the final version on July 4, 1776. It was signed by a number of notable individuals, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.

According to Britannica, in the early years of the republic, Independence Day was observed with parades, speeches, and toasting in celebration of the new nation. These commemorative activities held significant importance in developing the federal political system.

As informal political parties began to emerge, the Independence Day ceremonies became an avenue for leaders and citizens to connect local and national campaigns to the ideals of independence and the nation’s challenges.

By the mid-1790s, it became customary for the two political parties to hold separate partisan Independence Day festivals in many large towns. However, after the War of 1812, the political importance dwindled over the years.

All federal employees were given a paid holiday on this day in 1941, and many businesses honor it as an employee holiday.

Today, we honor our independence by flying the American flag proudly and participating in unforgettable fun-filled events like family gatherings, parades, fireworks displays, and more.

Let us know about your favorite July 4 celebrations on our Compass Ohio Facebook Page.

Happy Independence Day!

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