Do your kids ever ask: “Mommy, Daddy – why do we celebrate the Fourth of July?” Do you have trouble answering this question? Get all the names and dates mixed up? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check the important facts about Independence Day history here!
The Fourth of July is a very important American tradition. It’s the perfect holiday for beachside barbecues and family time! But it’s also worth knowing a little bit more about the history of Independence Day in America. If you don’t know about the 13 colonies, the following historical facts will pique your interest. You may even want to share them with others on a family app!
Why do we celebrate Independence Day in the United States?
Independence Day is one of the most popular holidays! It marks the day the original 13 American colonies ratified the Declaration of Independence, largely penned by Thomas Jefferson. This established them as an independent and unified nation separate from Great Britain. Even though the American Revolutionary War did not end until 1783, this bold act ensured the birth of a new nation.
Over the years, Americans have celebrated this day, but it didn’t become a federal holiday until 1941. Today, the Fourth of July is cause for celebration around the nation. Whether it’s celebrated with a parade, family getaway or a barbecue, knowing the history of Independence Day makes a more meaningful American tradition.
What is a brief history of July 4th in the USA?
Fourth of July is famous for stars and stripes, but the roots of it began during the American Revolutionary War. Political and philosophical differences had arisen between Great Britain and the 13 colonies prior to the war. While few wanted independence when the war began in 1775, the tide began to shift. On June 7th of 1776, the Continental Congress met to draft a statement to declare independence. Congress officially voted in favor of Independence on July 2nd, but the resolution wasn’t officially adopted until two days later. In 1777, the first annual commemoration of the day took place in Philadelphia. Since then, it has been a day of parades, concerts, and fireworks.
What was the greatest Fourth of July moment in history?
1776 hasn’t been the only significant Fourth of July in the United States! Here are some other July 4th moments over the years:
- Louisiana Purchase (1803) – This transaction that involved the acquisition of the territory known as Louisiana from the United States occurred in April. However, government leaders officially announced the purchase on Independence Day later that year.
- Slavery Ends in New York City (1827)– The city of New York once had the largest slave population in all of the USA. While a law was passed in 1817 to free all slaves, the law would only take complete effect years later. The real history of Independence Day reveals that the last slave wasn’t free until the Fourth of July in 1827.
- Hawaii Gets a Star (1960)– The island state of Hawaii became part of the United States in 1959. However, a star wasn’t officially added to the flag as the 50th star until July 4th of the following year!
- Hotmail hits the Internet (1996)– It might not seem like a big deal, but the electronic mail provider Hotmail got its start. While Gmail is more prominent now, Hotmail ushered in an entirely new era of connectivity.
Independence Day has been an important part of the American tradition since 1776. It may have started with the Declaration of Independence, but the history of July 4th fireworks exists to the present day! Do you have a favorite Independence Day tradition? Share it with us in our comments. Whether you want to learn about American history or simply spend time with family, make a plan for some celebrating!