Why do Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4th?
The Second Continental Congress, formed after the start of the American Revolution in 1775, voted to declare their independence on July 2. However, the Declaration of Independence, largely authored by Thomas Jefferson, was adopted on July 4th. When the Founding Fathers actually signed the document, however, remains disputed.
After the July 2 vote, John Adams famously wrote to Abigail, his wife:
The second day of July 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 commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Wonderfully said, John. Indeed, Americans commemorate their independence this way—but on July 4th, of course.
Happy 4th of July to all Americans near and far!!