The Importance of History
Most of us remember learning about why we celebrate the Fourth of July in grade school, but history is almost never as simple as our 3rd grade teachers made it seem. As president John F. Kennedy once said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Here is a brief history lesson on how we as nation started celebrating Independence Day on July 4th.
Birth of a Nation – Independence Day
The main significance of July 4th goes back to June 1776 when the original 13 colonies were debating the decision to declare independence from Great Britain. The final decision was made on July 2nd, when the Continental Congress voted in favor of Independence, and two days later adopted the Declaration of Independence. The historic document was drafted by Thomas Jefferson.
Although we celebrate July 4, 1776 as the start of our independence, the Revolutionary War lead to the birth of America which began on April of 1775. At the beginning, those who wanted independence were considered radical as most people did not want to separate from Great Britain. Over the year that led to July 4, 1776, growing tension begin to arise against the British, and Thomas Paine’s bestselling pamphlet, “Common Sense” helped spread awareness to promote the support for independence in early 1776.
It was Richard Henry, a delegate from Virginia, who originally proposed the notion to declare independence on June 7, 1776. After it was set in motion, Congress appointed a five-man committee to draft a formal statement of their decision on Great Britain. Members of the committee were John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson.
Nearly a month later, on July 2, 1776 the vote in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence was held and won by a landslide. That means the actual vote for America’s independence was on July 2nd, but Congress didn’t adopt the Declaration of Independence until July 4th, and from then on it became known as the day we celebrate the birth of American Independence.
The first Independence Day was celebrated on July 8, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was read out loud to the people in the city of Philadelphia.
The 4th of July as we know it today became a legal holiday in 1938.
Have a Happy Independence Day!
That is a brief history lesson on how our founding father’s decided to declare independence and create America in the process. From everyone here at Davis Law Firm, we would like to wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July!
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