July 4, more commonly known as the fourth of July in the United States of America has been a federal holiday in the country since 1941. In several movies you might have heard about the fourth of July, fireworks show, all this is connected to the day being very important in US history and tradition.
The fourth of July is celebrated in the US as Independence Day, much like we, Indians, have our own on August 15. The tradition of Independence Day goes back to 18th century when the Continental Congress in the US voted in favour of independence on July 2.
Two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.
Did you know? John Adams, one of the founding fathers and the second US President, believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Fourth of July Fireworks
The first fireworks were used as early as 200 BC. The tradition of setting off fireworks on the 4 of July began in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777, during the first organized celebration of Independence Day. Ship’s cannon fired a 13-gun salute in honor of the 13 colonies. The Pennsylvania Evening Post reported: “at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.” That same night, the Sons of Liberty set off fireworks over Boston Common.