US Independence Day: All you need to know about Fourth of July
- US Independence Day 2021: This year marks the 245th anniversary of the freedom of the thirteen American colonies from British colonial rule.
American Independence Day is observed on July 4 and is also called the Fourth of July. The date marks the annual celebration of nationhood in the United States. This year marks the 245th anniversary of the freedom of the thirteen American colonies from British colonial rule.
All you need to know about the Fourth of July:
The day commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in 1776, according to Britannica.
The Congress had approved independence from Great Britain on July 2 but the process of revising the Declaration of Independence was completed two days later. The declaration was originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson in consultation with fellow committee members John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and William Livingston, as per the Britannica.
The first days of independence during the summer of 1776 in many towns took the form of a mock funeral for King George III, whose "death" symbolized the rebirth of liberty, and the end of monarchy and tyranny, in contrast to the pre-revolutionary years when annual celebrations were held for his birthday.
Philadelphia commemorated the first annual independence day on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still busy with the ongoing war, as per The History.
In the initial years, Independence Day was celebrated with parades, oratory, and toasting in ceremonies that marked the existence of a new nation. These celebrations played an important role in the development of the federal political system and this provided the informal political parties a venue to tie local and national contests to independence, as per the Britannica report authored by David L. Waldstreicher, History Professor at New York University.
The two nascent political parties were holding separate partisan Independence Dat festivals in most larger towns by the mid-1970s. However, with the growth and diversification of American society, according to the report, the commemoration of the day became a patriotic tradition, which many groups not limited to political parties started to claim.
By the late 19th century, the Fourth of July emerged as a major midsummer holiday involving heavy drinking and an immense display of fireworks. During the later 20th century, the day remained a national holiday with parades, concerts of patriotic music, fireworks display and the day declined in significance as a venue for politics, the report said.
The day now marks the strong symbol of national power for the US and of specifically American qualities, it added.