The Fourth of July is often known as Independence Day. It has become a national holiday States since 1941, yet Independence Day celebrations date back to the American Revolution in the 18th century. Continental Congress cast their vote in support of the independence on 2 July, 1776, and the delegates from the 13 colonies affirmed the Declaration of Independence, that is a historic document penned by Thomas Jefferson. 4th July has been commemorated as the birth of the American independence since the year 1776, with events ranging from fireworks displays, parades, and music concerts to much more casual family functions and barbecues.

Fourth of July’s History

Few colonists desired total freedom from Great Britain when the Revolutionary War began in April 1775, as well as those who did were labeled radicals.

Due to growing anti-British feelings and the propagation of revolutionary ideas like those portrayed in Thomas Paine's blockbuster pamphlet "Common Sense," released in early 1776, many more colonies supported independence by the mid of the year that followed.
Richard Henry Lee, a Virginia delegate, introduced a motion that was calling for the colonies' independence at the Continental Congress meeting on June 7 at Pennsylvania State House (which later became Independence Hall) in Philadelphia.

The Congress went ahead to reschedule a vote on Lee's resolution amid heated debate but appointed a 5-man committee—including Connecticut's Roger Sherman, Virginia's Thomas Jefferson, Massachusetts' John Adams, New York's Robert R and Pennsylvania's Benjamin Franklin, —to draft a formal statement validating the part ways with Great Britain.

The Continental Congress voted near-unanimously in favor of Lee's proposal for independence on 2nd July (New York delegation abstained, yet later voted affirmatively). On the very same day, John Adams went ahead to write to his wife Abigail, declaring that July 2 "would 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."

The Continental Congress formally accepted Declaration of Independence on 4th of July, which was substantially drafted by Jefferson. Even though the real vote for independence occurred on July 2nd, the 4th of July has since become the day commemorating the beginning of American independence.

Fourth of July Celebrations Begin Early

In the years leading up to the Revolution, colonists staged annual festivities of the king's birthday, which featured bell ringing, bonfires, processions, and speeches. During the summer of 1776, however, some colonists commemorated the independence’s birth by staging fake funerals for King George III, symbolizing the monarchy's loss of control over America as well as the triumph of liberty.

Bonfires, parades, concerts and the firing of both cannons and muskets frequently preceded the Declaration of Independence's maiden public readings, which began shortly after its passage. While Congress was still concerned with the continuing war, Philadelphia staged the first anniversary of independence on 4 July, 1777.

To commemorate the anniversary of freedom in 1778, George Washington gave all of his soldiers double rations of rum, and Massachusetts became the very first state to proclaim 4th July an official state holiday in 1781, a few months before the crucial American victory at the Yorktown’s Battle.

Following the Revolutionary War, Americans celebrated Independence Day every year, with events that allowed the new nation's rising political leaders to address residents and foster a sense of unity. On July 4, 18th century, the 2 major political parties, the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republicans, began to organize separate celebrations in several significant cities.

Why do we celebrate the fourth of July