July 4th, Our Annual Celebration, Brush Up on History- 5 Resources

Statue of Liberty with Independence day 4th July

Here are five resources on the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776

America Independent Day, 4th of July


1. Library of Congress

Today in History – July 4 Independence Day

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, announcing the colonies’ separation from Great Britain. The Constitution provides the legal and governmental framework for the United States, however, the Declaration, with its eloquent assertion “all Men are created equal,” is equally beloved by the American people.

July 4th fireworks, Washington, D.C. Carol M Highsmith, photographer, July 4, 2008. Highsmith (Carol M.) Archive. Prints & Photographs Division

Philadelphians marked the first anniversary of American independence with a spontaneous celebration, which is described in a letter by John Adams to his daughter, Abigail. However, observing Independence Day only became commonplace after the War of 1812. Soon, events such as groundbreaking ceremonies for the Erie Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad were scheduled to coincide with July 4th festivities.

Unanimous Declaration of Independence, Passed in the United States Congress… 1823. Printed Ephemera: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera . Rare Book & Special Collections Division

2. Encyclopedia Britanica 

Independence Day | History, Meaning, & Date

Independence Day, also called Fourth of July or July 4th, in the United States, the annual celebration of nationhood. It commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

The Congress had voted in favour of independence from Great Britain on July 2 but did not actually complete the process of revising the Declaration of Independence, originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson in consultation with fellow committee members John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and William Livingston, until two days later. The celebration was initially modeled on that of the king’s birthday, which had been marked annually by bell ringing, bonfires, solemn processions, and oratory.

3. PBS

The History of America’s Independence Day

“Taxation without representation!” was the battle cry in America’s 13 Colonies, which were forced to pay taxes to England’s King George III despite having no representation in the British Parliament. As dissatisfaction grew, British troops were sent in to quell the early movement toward rebellion. Repeated attempts by the Colonists to resolve the crisis without military conflict proved fruitless.

On June 11, 1776, the Colonies’ Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and formed a committee whose express purpose was drafting a document that would formally sever their ties with Great Britain. The committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston. Jefferson, who was considered the strongest and most eloquent writer, crafted the original draft document (as seen above). A total of 86 changes were made to his draft and the Continental Congress officially adopted the final version on July 4, 1776.

4. Readers Digest

What Is the 4th of July, and Why Do We Celebrate It?

Let freedom ring—and the fireworks bang! Here’s your complete guide to July 4th and why it’s celebrated.

What is the 4th of July, anyway? July 4th (also known as Independence Day) is an annual American holiday that falls on, you guessed it, the 4th of July. While you’re thinking of fun 4th of July ideas for this year’s celebration (like planning a trip to see the best fireworks, shopping great sales or sharing meaningful quotes on social media), you may wonder about the 4th of July’s history and its meaning to this nation. Why do we celebrate it each year? Well, don’t worry—we’re breaking it down for you with this 4th of July guide.

5. Military.com

Celebrating July 4th

On July 4, 1776, the 13  colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States.

Each year on the fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, Americans celebrate this historic event.

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