4th of July Independence Day History, How It Began

This is what everyone knows: On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence.

This is what most Americans DON’T know:

1) The declaration was proposed in JUNE not July by an unknown person in American history named Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.

2) It was on July 2nd that the Congress voted on Independence NOT July 4th.

3) Observing of Independence Day only became commonplace after the War of 1812.

4) By 1870 it was our Nations most important holiday and the ONLY day of the year when communities gathered together.

5) July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941 just 5-months 4-days before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

6) Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.


On July 3rd 1776 future President John Adams wrote the following to his wife Abigail:

July 2nd, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

 He was only off by two days! 🙂

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