July 4th Or 2nd... | Alyssa J Freitas: July 4th Or 2nd...

July 4, 2018

July 4th Or 2nd...

Happy Independence Day! I try to always make sure I say "independence day" rather than "4th of July." Why, you ask? It comes back to John Adams (as most of my historical opinions do).
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Ever wondered why we celebrate independence day on July 4th? Well, maybe it's meant to be July 2nd...find out why!
On July 2nd, 1776 the delegates of the Continental Congress approved the motion for independence for the 13 colonies to separate from Great Britain. And most everyone was pumped (and also a little scared and confused, because what exactly would this mean).

My guy John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, 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 commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."

Today we do celebrate independence with parades and games, and bonfires, and all that jazz...but we do it on July 4th. Why?

The committee of 5 assigned to writing the Declaration (Adams, Franklin, Sherman, Livingston, and Jefferson) put forth the document on July 2nd, but the congress did not approve it until July 4th - hence why the finalized version reads "In Congress, July 4, 1776."

The Declaration was then read in public for the first time on July 8th (though it had been printed in the evening of July 4th and distributed) and Washington shared the news with his troops on July 9th.

While I always want my John to be right, he was slightly off on this one. We've adopted July 4th as the anniversary of our independence and I also celebrate the end of a legacy on this day - John died on July 4th, 1826.

How are you going to be celebrating Independence Day this year? 

-AJF
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