A Little History of Independence Day

The Declaration of Independence is an important part of American democracy because first, it contains the ideals of our nation. Second, it contains the complaints of the colonists against the British king. Third, it contains the arguments the colonists used to explain why they wanted to be free of British rule.

The conflict between the colonies and England was already a year old when the colonies convened a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776. In a June 7 session in the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall), Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution with the famous words: “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Thomas Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

 

On July 8, 1776, the first public readings of the Declaration were held in Philadelphia’s Independence Square to the ringing of bells and band music. One year later, on July 4, 1777, Philadelphia marked Independence Day by adjourning Congress and celebrating with bonfires, bells, and fireworks.

 

In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees. It wasn’t until 1938 that it became a paid federal holiday.

 

The second paragraph of the Declaration states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

 

People are created equal by the Creator. God made us all in his image so let’s try to treat each other with respect and unite together. So thank a service person today and every day for the freedom you enjoy.

 

Have a great and safe Independence Day.

 

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