Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of
States commemorating the adoption of
the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776,
declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great
Independence Day is commonly associated
with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs,
picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions,
political speeches and ceremonies, and various
other public and private eventscelebrating the history,
government, andtraditions of the United States.
During the American Revolution, the legal separation
of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred
on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental
independence that had been proposed in June
attention to the Declaration of Independence, a
statement explaining this decision, which had been
Jefferson as its principal author.
Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally
approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had
written to his wife Abigail:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the mostmemorable epoch in the history of America. Iam apt to believe that it will be celebrated bysucceeding generations as the greatanniversary festival. It ought to becommemorated as the day of deliverance, bysolemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. Itought to be solemnized with pomp and parade,with shows, games, sports, guns, bells,bonfires, and illuminations, from one end ofthis continent to the other, from this timeforward forever more.Adams's prediction was off by two days. Fromthe outset, Americans celebrated independenceon July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, ratherthan on July 2, the date the resolution ofindependence was approved in a closed sessionof Congress.Historians have long disputed whetherCongress actually signed the Declaration ofIndependence on July 4, even though ThomasJefferson, John Adams, and BenjaminFranklin all later wrote that they had signed iton that day. Most historians have concludedthat the Declaration was signed nearly a monthafter its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and noton July 4 as is commonly believed.In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adamsand Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of theDeclaration of Independence later to serveas Presidents of the United States, died on thesame day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50thanniversary of the Declaration.Although not a signer of the Declaration ofIndependence, James Monroe, theFifth President of the United States, diedwas the only President to be born onIndependence Day.