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Independence Day

July 4

Independence Day

 

Independence Day is celebrated on July 4 and is often known as the Fourth of July. It is the anniversary of the publication of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776.

In 1775, people in the thirteen colonies began fighting the British under King George III for their own independence. On July 2, 1776, Congress secretly voted for independence from Great Britain. Two days later, on July 4, 1776, the final wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved, and the document was published. The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence was on July 8, 1776. Delegates began to sign the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776.

In 1870, Independence Day was made an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1941, it became a paid holiday for them.

The first description of how Independence Day would be celebrated was in a letter from John Adams to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776. He described “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminationst” throughout the United States. However, the term “Independence Day” was not used until 1791.

Interestingly, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both signers of the Declaration of Independence and presidents of the United States, died on July 4, 1826—exactly 50 years after the adoption of the declaration.

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