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Independence Day: Fun Facts You Probably Did Not Know

Firework picture

What Independence Day Means to You

To most of us, Independence Day means barbeque, family, friends and fireworks. To the young ones, too young to really understand the great importance of this day, it means fireworks! You can often overhear a little one say, “Mom, can we light just one sparkler?” Or, “Dad, can we light just one snake?” before the real fireworks have begun.

Wikipedia describes it this way: “Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire.”

“Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.”

Dallas, Texas, will be holding all of their celebrations a day early so the residents, that are off work the next day, can rest and recuperate after a late night of family fun. Many cities are doing the same. Fireworks displays are planned throughout our cities, along with parades and concerts.

Do You Know Why We Shoot off Fireworks on the Fourth of July?

On the very first fourth of July event, they shot off 13 cannons representing the 13 states of the union. 13 bells were rung and 13 fireworks were set off in the city’s commons of Philadelphia in 1777. This celebration was considered a real sign of patriotism to our new independence. This began the celebration that we exhibit and enjoy today.

Did you know that the fourth of July was not the first date that could have been set as Independence Day? Massachusetts first declared it a state holiday, though it was actually July second that the Continental Congress declared their independence of British rule. However, the Declaration of Independence was dated as final on the fourth of July, 1776.

John Adams was not happy with this date change. “But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America”, John Adams wrote to his wife on July third of that year, before the date change was decided. He firmly believed this was the true date, and so he would not attend the fourth of July events.

Do You Know Who the Declaration of Independence Was Meant For?

Some believe that it was not meant to apply to everyone, but instead to free white men. Others disagreed, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., who wrote in his, “I have a dream” speech, “when the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the… Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note… that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights.”

Did you know, “the pursuit of happiness”, was not the original quote? The more famous line in the Declaration of Independence, the second line, reads, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” However, it was originally written by Thomas Jefferson to read, “the pursuit of property”. Benjamin Franklin convinced him to change this word because it was too narrowing.

These are just a few fun and interesting facts about the creation and implementation of the fourth of July and the Declaration of Independence. If you celebrate this great nation’s holiday, have fun and be safe.

Rene' Rights / Writer

I am an instinctual writer. From penning Haiku as a teen to taking a couple writing classes in college, I have always sought to express myself through the written word. Now that I enjoy early retirement, I turn to every platform I can to support President Trump’s agenda.
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