The Fourth of July celebrates American independence but do you know the rest of the history of Independence Day?
The United States used to be a colony of the British, many years ago. But after a while, the 13 original colonies decided they wanted to be their own nation. After fighting in a war known as the American Revolution, the US colonies finally won their independence from Great Britain. This is an independence that Americans are still fighting for to this day, so make sure you thank a veteran or military member this Fourth of July if you get the chance.
In order to officially declare their split from the British, the new nation needed to draw up a Declaration of Independence document. So, on July 2nd, 1776 one representative from each colony came together in Philadelphia to vote. The committee was then known as the Congressional Congress and they decided in favor of independence.
Only two days later, on July 4th, the delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, which was drafted by Thomas Jefferson. This is why we celebrate America’s birthday on the 4th of July. This year also marks the 237th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and birth of our country.
While the tradition of celebrating American independence goes way back, the holiday has not been official quite that long. The Fourth of July was not made a federal holiday until 1941 by Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Today the holiday is a milestone of summer for many Americans. Many typical festivities include watching fireworks and parades or family gatherings and barbecues. And of course flying your American flag all day long! Everyone is sure to have their own Independence Day traditions as well but here is another great 4th of July article full of fun activities and recipes.
Here are more fun facts you might not know about Independence Day:
- An estimated 2.5 million people lived in this country in July 1776. Today, that number has grown to over 325 million.
- In 2016, the US imported $307.8 million worth of fireworks.
- 86 US cities have the word “Independence,” “liberty,” “freedom” or “eagle” in their names,
- 150 million hot dogs are consumed each 4th of July