The 4th of July, also referred to as Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States
of America, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July,
Independence Day is an important holiday in the United States and is usually celebrated with
fireworks, parades, barbeques, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family
reunions, political speeches and a variety of ceremonies. It is the National day of the United
The background history behind this holiday is an interesting one.
In April 1775, people in New England began fighting the British for their independence and the
Revolutionary War broke out. At that time, only a few colonists wanted complete independence
from Britain, but they were considered radicals.
But, by the middle of the following year, many colonists had shifted their opinion in favor of
complete independence from Britain, due to the growing hostility against Britain. There was also
the spread of revolutionary feelings and sentiments among the masses such as those
expressed in the bestselling pamphlet “Common Sense” published by Thomas Paine in the
On 7th June 1776, the Continental Congress met at Pennsylvania State House (later
Independence Hall) in Philadelphia. There, the Virginia delegate, Richard Henry Lee introduced
a motion which called for the independence of the colonies.
In the midst of heated debate, the Congress postponed Lee’s resolution, but they appointed a
five-man committee comprising of Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of
Massachusetts’s, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert
R. Livingston of New York in order to draft a formal statement justifying the break of the 13
colonies with Great Britain.
On 2nd July 1776, the Continental Congress secretly voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for
independence in a near-unanimous vote. After voting for independence, the Congress turned its
attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement justifying its decision, which was
prepared by a Committee of five, principally headed by Thomas Jefferson.
The Congress debated it and revised the wording of the Declaration and it was finally approved two days later, on the 4th Of July and the document was published.
The first public reading of the Declaration took place on 8th of July 1776. Delegates began to sign
the Declaration of Independence on 2nd August 1776.
“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 by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns,
bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time
Now, the most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag and a common musical
the accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner”, the national anthem of the United States.