The word independence refers to the state or condition of a person or country, which exercises self-government and is not dependent on any foreign powers for their upkeep and administration. Independence gives a nation or a person to decide their own destiny.
Introduction of USA Independence Day
The United States of America celebrates its Independence Day on July 4th every year. It is celebrated as a national holiday since 1941. It marks the declaration of Independence of America on July 4th, 1776. The Continental Congress stated that the thirteen colonies of America would no longer be ruled by King George III, the Monarch of Britain. The Congress had already decided upon independence, but it was executed on July 4th.
History of USA Independence Day
The battle for American Independence started from the Revolutionary War. The American Revolution or the Revolutionary war lasted from 1775 to 1783. The war was the result of the growing turmoil between the people of the thirteen colonies in America, and the colonial government. This war led to the American Independence in 1776.
The Continental Congress held a meeting at the State House on June 7th, in Philadelphia, and Richard Henry Lee, the delegate of Virginia, decided to introduce a motion supporting the independence of the thirteen colonies in America. After an intense debate, Congress decided to postpone the motion. A committee was organized, consisting of five members, to draft a proper justification for the motion. The committee included Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert R. Livingstone of New York and John Adams of Massachusetts. Thomas Jefferson beautifully listed all their ideas and stated their grievances against the rule of Great Britain.
The Congress agreed to the motion of July 2nd, in an almost unanimous vote, and finally, on July 4th, the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted, which had been legally written by Thomas Jefferson. Since then, July 4th has been officially celebrated as the Independence Day of the United States of America.
Significance of USA Independence Day
The Americans celebrate Independence Day to commemorate the cutting off of all relations with Great Britain. It also represents the core of the Americans' beliefs and their identity as the citizens of the United States. This day arises a sense of patriotism in every American citizen. The United States of America celebrates this day with parades, parties, family reunions and get-togethers.
Significance of Fireworks
Fireworks have been a significant part of American Independence Day on July 4th. It has been a part of it since the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The first official celebration on July 4th was done with a salute of thirteen gunshots during the morning and in the evening. It was a time of great pride for the American citizens. Philadelphia had the first-ever display of fireworks when it fired thirteen canons from a ship. The next day a famous newspaper, known as The Pennsylvania Evening Post, expressed the event to be an extravagant show of fireworks. This was the beginning of the tradition of bursting fireworks on the 4th of July every year.
New York has the most spectacular display of fireworks known as the Macy Fireworks Display, with more than twenty-two tons of firework display in the year 2009. It is generally exhibited over the East River in New York City.
Other important places for firework displays are San Diego in Mission Bay, over the Charles River in Boston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Mall in Washington D.C, and over the San Francisco Bay in San Francisco.
Michigan also exhibits an extravagant display of fireworks over the Detroit River on Independence Day, along with Ontario's celebration of Canada Day.
How is USA Independence Day Celebrated?
Independence Day in the United States is celebrated as a national holiday. Since it is a summer-themed event, it is generally celebrated outdoors. Federal courts, postal offices and other non-essential federal offices remain closed on this occasion. Many politicians make public appearances and address large gatherings and appreciate the country's history, rich culture and heritage, the society and the American citizens.
Families celebrate this occasion by arranging or going for a picnic, preparing a barbeque. Some people may also take advantage of the holiday and stay at home to rejuvenate and take a break from the stressful daily life. People also take the opportunity of this occasion to visit their family and friends. Decorations are mostly coloured blue, red or white in accordance with the country's national flag. Parades generally set out during the morning, and fireworks are displayed during the evening, in places like town squares, parks etc.
The night before Independence Day was once marked by lighting up bonfires by large gatherings of people. The bonfires were generally lit up during the night to enhance the celebration. People in New England would compete with each other to build high pyramids with the help of barrels and caskets. The pyramids were mostly forty tires high, and these were the tallest bonfires in history. This was mostly done in places like Massachusetts and Salem. Some places still follow this tradition in New England.
Various patriotic songs accompany the display of fireworks, but this custom is gradually becoming less popular. Some of the lyrics of the song depict the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Some people also hold personal firework shows, but certain safety precautions do not promote this practice.
A gunshot salute for each state is held on Independence Day every year. This is known as "Salute to the Union" and is held at noon every 4th of July by every prominent army base.
The first week in the month of July remains the busiest in the United States of America as many people use this opportunity of Independence Day to relax and go on a vacation for the week.
The Philippines celebrates July 4th as its Republic Day because it was on this day in 1946 when it officially ceased to be American territory. America recognized the Philippines as a free country.
When is USA Independence Day Celebrated?
American Independence Day is celebrated annually on the 4th of July. It was celebrated for the first time on July 8th, 1776.
Some Interesting Facts About the Independence Day of the United States of America
- The Declaration of Independence officially began on July 2nd, 1776. It started with Thomas Jefferson writing a letter to the king of Britain, George III, stating about the problems that the Americans were facing under British rule.
- The Declaration of Independence was framed by Thomas Jefferson.
- Jefferson became the third president of the United States and served the country from 1801 to 1809.
- The first Independence Day celebration took place on July 8th 1776, in Philadelphia.
- The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is ringing thirteen times every year on Independence Day.
- Originally the stars on the national flag of the United States were equal, representing that all the thirteen colonies were equal. The White House celebrated American Independence Day for the first time in 1801.
- The first Independence Day celebration was done by more than two million people.
- July 4th was made a national holiday after more than a hundred years after the actual country attained freedom.
- Fireworks are the most significant part of the celebration, and the Americans watch the sky get lit up because of the birth of a new nation.
- Thomas Jefferson passed away on July 4th, 1826.
American Independence Day is a constant reminder to its citizens about the sacrifice and hard work that the freedom fighters had to go through to make America the country that it is today. It arises a feeling of patriotism and loyalty towards the nation.