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Independence Day: Date, History, Activities & Quotes

July 18, 2022 7 min read

Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the ratification of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, thus founding the United States of America.

The Second Continental Congress stated that the Thirteen Colonies were no longer subject (and submissive) to Britain's king, King George III, and were now united, free, and independent states. On July 2, the Congress voted to accept independence by approving the Lee Resolution, and two days later, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

1. What is the Date of Independence Day? 

The American grandeur of Red, White, and Blue is honored on July 4th as Independence Day.

On July 4, Americans gather to commemorate the nation's birthday and Independence Day. On this day, most Americans love grilling in their backyards, parks, or beaches. Some people like parades or marches and the pyrotechnics that are frequently ignited after twilight. We begin the celebrations with facts, trivia, and anything else you need to know about Independence Day. Happy Fourth of July!

Independence Day is usually associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches, and ceremonies, among other public and private celebrations of the United States' history, government, and customs. Independence Day is the United States' national holiday.

2. Independence Day History 

Although most of us had already learned this history lesson in school, we were probably not paying attention as the clock approached recess or the end of the day. But we can't really enjoy our liberties unless we understand how we obtained them — and, more crucially, how close we came to losing them. The narrative of America's freedom is truly intriguing, with far more historical twists and turns than we could possibly cover here. 

But we can get you started with the fundamentals. America was not a nation of 'united states' in the 1700s. Instead, there were 13 colonies, each with its own personality. From 1763 through 1773, King George III of the United Kingdom and the British Parliament imposed a series of severe levies and restrictions on the colonies.

Excessive taxes on British luxury commodities like tea and sugar were aimed to help the British crown at the expense of the colonists' hardships. By 1764, the phrase "Taxation without representation is tyranny" had become a rallying cry of discontent throughout the colonies.

The more the colonists revolted, the more forcefully King George responded. Imagine if hostile forces could not only enter your home, but also demand that you feed and house them. The Quartering Act of 1765 authorized British soldiers to do so.

However, the Stamp Act of 1765 was the final straw for the colonists. This act, passed by Parliament in March, taxed any printed paper, including newspapers, legal documents, ship's papers, and even playing cards! As the colonists grumbled louder and braver, British ships arrived in Boston Harbor in the fall of 1768 as a show of force. Because of the British Empire's global influence, the British Navy ruled the seas all over the world.

Tensions erupted in Boston Harbor on March 5, 1770, after a street fight between a group of colonists and British soldiers. Crispus Attucks, the first American and Black man to die in the Boston Massacre, was 47 years old when the troops opened fire, killing him along with three other colonists.

The Boston Tea Party (from which today's Tea Party Republicans derive its name) erupted in 1773 when colonists masquerading as Mohican Indians stormed a British ship, pouring all the tea overboard in order to avoid paying taxes. 

Continued pressure led to resistance and the outbreak of the Revolutionary War in the towns of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, when a militia of Americans clashed with British forces. The conditions for American independence were ideal.

When the Revolutionary War began in April 1775, only a few colonists desired absolute independence from Great Britain, and those who did were branded fanatics.

However, by the middle of the next year, many more colonies had shifted toward independence as a result of growing antipathy toward Britain and the propagation of revolutionary ideas such as those expressed in Thomas Paine's blockbuster pamphlet "Common Sense," released in early 1776.

On June 7, 1776, the Continental Congress assembled at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, where Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. 

In the midst of heated debate, Congress rescheduled the vote on Lee's resolution but appointed a five-member committee — Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, and Robert R. Livingston of New York — to draft a formal statement justifying the defection from Great Britain.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted almost unanimously in support of Lee's proposal for independence, and on July 4th, it formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which was mostly written by Jefferson. Finally, the process of writing the Declaration of Independence was acrimonious. After much dispute over what to include and exclude, Thomas Jefferson, who was tasked with putting the text together, envisioned a republic where "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" distilled the very idea of being an American. 

The proclamation declared the emancipation of the 13 American colonies from Britain and asserted their rights as free men, declaring that they were no longer subject (and submissive) to Britain's king, King George III, and were now united, free, and independent states.

According to John Adams' letter to his wife Abigail, July 2 "shall be commemorated, by succeeding Generations, as the grand anniversary Festival," with "Pomp and Parade...Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of our Continent to the Other."

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the only two signatories of the Declaration of Independence who ultimately served as presidents of the United States, died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. 

Although he was not a signatory to the Declaration of Independence, James Monroe, another Founding Father elected to the presidency, died on July 4, 1831, making him the third President to die on the Fourth of July. Calvin Coolidge, who was born on July 4, 1872, is the only U.S. president to have been born on Independence Day.

3. Independence Day Traditions

American Independence Day parades have a long history. By the summer of 1776, Americans were mockingly mourning the 'death' of British authority with fake funerals, merriment, and feasting. Americans still love to party, and for a genuinely authentic experience, head to Bristol, Rhode Island, which has hosted America's oldest Independence Day parade since 1785. Watch marching fife and drum corps, cartoon characters, and celebrities in antique cars.

On July 4th, we bring out family recipes for chili, BBQ ribs, chicken, and even tofu. We like Louisiana gumbo and lobster boils in Maine. There are spicy potato salads and roasted sweet corn on the cob. Pies and desserts are on the table. Independence Day allows you to indulge in some patriotic fare.

They whiz, chirp, and bang. Fireworks originated with the ancient Chinese, moved to Europe, and were later added to early American Independence Day celebrations. On July 4, 1777, both Boston and Philadelphia set off fireworks. 

Independence Day, according to John Adams, "ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and lighting." This year, celebrate the Fourth of July with a spectacular fireworks display!

4. Independence Day Activities

Hoisting the flag

Celebrations of Independence Day (I-Day) begin with the hoisting of the national flag, which symbolizes the nation's pride and dignity. You can take your child to a flag-raising ceremony in your community or school. Encourage them to attend the event. Make them join everyone in singing the national anthem.

Past March

A march-past is a parade or procession that is typically held on Independence Day to instill team spirit among children. Take the initiative, as a teacher or a parent, to arrange a march-past in your school or community. Allow time for children to practice marching before the final event. The march-past is performed in time with a loud drill and after the tricolor flag is hoisted.

Drawing and painting

These tournaments generate excitement and are an excellent method to stimulate children's inventiveness. You may hold I-Day-themed painting and drawing competitions. Consider topics that emphasize the concept of freedom and encourage youngsters to express themselves via color. competitions for drawing

5. Independence Day Quotes

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” – Erma Bombeck

“Independence Day: freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“It will be celebrated with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.” – John Adams

“Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” – John Dickinson

“I believe in America because we have great dreams, and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.” – Wendell L. Wilkie

“We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their plows but to secure liberty for their souls. – Robert J. McCracken

“The United States is the only country with a known birthday.” – James G. Blaine

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

“Freedom lies in being bold.” – Robert Frost

“As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.” – George Washington

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” – William Faulkner

“Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” – Abraham Lincoln

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” – James Madison

“Liberty is the breath of life to nations.” – George Bernard Shaw

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