The Fourth of July
One of the most celebrated events in the United States, the Fourth of July, marks the day that the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Read on to find out how the United States of America came to be the country it is today.
History Behind the Holiday.
In the beginning of U.S.'s history, 13 colonies were ruled by the King of England, King George III. These colonies were tired of having a king 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Two acts of defiance made history. In Boston harbor on March 5, 1770, British soldiers fired into a crowd after being jeered and stoned. The number of people killed was exaggerated, but the event became known as the Massacre.
The Boston Massacre led to another legendary event which occurred on December 17, 1773. Tea was purposely dumped into the Massachusetts Bay. This event, known as the Boston Tea Party, was a protest by the American Colonists against the British government raising their taxes.
The Declaration of Independence.
Virginia took the first step and voted to set up a group to represent the colonies. The first meeting was in 1774 and a draft of a document that would give them freedom from England was written. This document, called the Declaration of Independence, was signed by 56 men. All of them were in some serious danger of being executed as the Declaration was considered treason. But, they stood by what they believed in - the right to independence.
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration.
The First Fourth of July.
However, it took years for the final draft of the Declaration
to be written. At the same time, the American Revolution
was taking place. The draft was finally
accepted on July 4, 1776. Over the next month, the document
was read to the public and people celebrated whenever they
heard it. In 1783 the war finally endedand Independence Day was made an official holiday.
Every July 4 Americans have a day off work. There are activities in the afternoon including baseball games, music and picnics. Some cities have parades. Then, at dusk, people watch fireworks displays. This is one birthday celebration you don't want to miss.