Monday, June 30, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

Later this week America will celebrate Independence Day, commemorating when members of the Second Continental Congress adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Following its adoption, the Declaration was read to the public in various American cities. Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets usually were part of the occasion.

Philadelphia – the city where the Declaration was signed – was the first city to commemorate the 4th of July in 1777. The people rang bells, fired guns, lit candles, and set off firecrackers. Overall celebrations were rather calm, considering the country was still at war.

George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778. In 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday. July 4th became a U.S. federal holiday in 1941.

Our second president, John Adams, approved of the celebrations. As he once wrote to his wife Abigail, “I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other...”

Interestingly enough, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826 – the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

My family will be in Williamsburg, Va., a few days before the Fourth. Crazy summer schedules mean we'll have to come home before the holiday, but what a fantastic place it would be for celebrating!

What will you be doing this weekend to mark Independence Day? 

~ Leigh  


Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Celebrating the 4th of July with a picinc and attending the festivities in The City of Brotherly Love and the birthplace of America's independence.
Pat in Philadelphia

Anonymous said...

I will be celebrating with a big family gathering at my son's home. Think the swimmers will be disappointed thos for it is suppose to rain. I really do enjoy seeing my kids, grandkids, and greats. My best chances of seeing some of the grands. I would love to see a large fireworks show tho. It has been a long time for me. Thanks, Maxie Anderson
> mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Leigh said...

I hope you both enjoyed the holiday! I wish our family could've been in Williamsburg through the 4th but we still got a taste of everything. And hearing the Declaration of Independence read from the Capitol grounds one afternoon was wonderful!

Thanks for visiting with us,