History of the 4th of July

posted in: Patriotic | 0

The birthday of the United States is once again upon us.  There are many ways to celebrate this holiday, even from the comforts of home.  A Capitol Fourth airs on PBS and Macy’s 4th of July airs on NBC and Yankee Doodle Dandy airs on TCM, all three air at 8pm.

Declaration of Independence

The 4th of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence.  The signing of this document declared the British colonies a new nation and affirmed our independence from the British Empire.

The area that is now the United States is said to be founded by Christopher Columbus in 1492. {Actually it was found Lief Erickson over 500 years earlier.}   The settlement of Jamestown {in current day Virginia} was first began in 1607 and the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.  The new settlers had times of peace and strife with the Native Americans before erupting in the seven year long  French Indian War beginning in 1754. 

American colonies were a new nation and longed to affirm our independence from the British Empire.

By 1775 tensions with the British Empire had reached an all time high due to over taxation and other issues.  The Boston Tea Party in December 1773 only served to heighten these tensions that eventually led to war.  The Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, with John Hancock stating  he wanted King George to read his signature without his spectacles.

Many of the signers of the declaration did not sign on July 4th, but as late as August 2, 1776.

The Revolutionary War raged on until September 3, 1783. 

Commander of the Continental Army George Washington was unanimously elected the first President of the United States in 1789.

In 1791, the phrase Independence Day was first used.  However, it was almost a century later before the day became a holiday. 

In 1870, the U.S. Congress made the day an unpaid federal holiday for employees. 

In 1938, Congress changed the holiday to a paid federal holiday.

Today we celebrate the day with Patriotic celebrations, BBQs, family and friends and of course, fireworks.

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