day, 4th of July - Nation's Birthday
the time of the signing, the US consisted of 13 colonies under
the rule of England's King George III. There was growing unrest
in the colonies concerning the taxes that had to be paid to
England. This was commonly referred to as "Taxation without
Representation" as the colonists did not have any representation
in the English Parliament and had no say in what went on.
As the unrest grew in the colonies, King George sent extra
troops to help control any rebellion. In 1774 the 13 colonies
sent delegates to Philadelphia Pennsylvania to form the First
Continental Congress. The delegates were unhappy with England,
but were not yet ready to declare war.
In April 1775 as the
King's troops advanced on Concord Massachusetts, Paul
Revere sounded the alarm - "The British are coming,
the British are coming...." as he rode his horse
through the late night streets. The battle of Concord
and its "shot heard round the world" marked
the unofficial beginning of the colonies war for Independence.
The following May the
colonies again sent delegates to the Second Continental
Congress. For almost a year the congress tried to work
out its differences with England, again without formally
By June 1776 their efforts
had become hopeless and a committee was formed to compose
a formal declaration of independence. Headed by Thomas
Jefferson, the committee included John Adams, Benjamin
Franklin, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. Thomas
Jefferson was chosen to write the first draft which
was presented to the congress on June 28. After various
changes a vote was taken late in the afternoon of July
4th. Of the 13 colonies, 9 voted in favor of the Declaration,
2 ( Pennsylvania and South Carolina) voted No, Delaware
undecided and New York abstained.
To make it official, John Hancock,
President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration
of Independence. It is said that John Hancock signed his name
"with a great flourish" so "King George can
read that without spectacles!." The following day copies
of the Declaration were distributed. The first newspaper to
print the Declaration was the Pennsylvania Evening Post on
July 6, 1776. On July 8th the Declaration had its first public
reading in Philadelphia's Independence Square. Twice that
day the Declaration was read to cheering crowds and pealing
church bells. Even the bell in Independence Hall was rung.
That "Province Bell" was later renamed "Liberty
Bell" after its inscription - "Proclaim Liberty
Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof"
And although the signing of
the Declaration was not completed until August, the 4th of
July has been accepted as the official anniversary of United
States independence. The first Independence Day celebration
took place the following year - July 4 1777. By the early
1800s the traditions of parades, picnics, and fireworks were
established as the way to celebrate America's birthday. Congress
declared the 4th July a federal holiday in 1941.
And in today's commercial/capitalist World, it's one more
opportunity for vacationing, to promote Sales, offer discounts
and deals. Fortunately till now it's not yet been shifted
to nearest Monday or Friday.
Independence Day (United States) Often imitated (or
parodied), it is a familiar symbol of American patriotism.
Independence Day, as the only holiday celebrating the United
States as a whole
Day on the Net:
- Independence Day celebrates the birthday of the United
States of America. Founded July 4th 1776, with the signing
of the Declaration of Independenc
Day (1996) - Movie. Popular movie by the same name.
Plot: On July 2nd, communications systems worldwide are
sent into chaos by a strange atmospheric interference. It
is soon learned by the military that a number of enormous
objects are on a collision course with Earth. At first thought
to be meteors, they are later revealed to be gigantic spacecraft,
piloted by a mysterious alien species. After attempts to
communicate with the aliens go nowhere, David Levinson,
an ex-scientist turned cable technician, discovers that
the aliens are going to attack major points around the globe
in less than a day. On July 3rd, the aliens all but obliterate
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington. The survivors set
out in convoys towards Area 51, a strange government testing
ground where it is rumored the military has a captured alien
spacecraft of their own. The survivors devise a plan to
fight back against the enslaving aliens, and July 4th becomes
the day humanity will fight for its freedom. July 4th is
their Independence Day.
America! On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence
from Britain and Democracy was born. Every day thousands
leave their homeland to come to the "land of the
free and the home of the brave" so they can begin
their American Dream.
The United States is truly a diverse nation made up of
dynamic people. Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate
that freedom and independence with barbecues, picnics,
and family gatherings. Through the Internet we are learning
about and communicating with people of different nations,
with different languages and different races throughout
the world. Bringing the world closer with understanding
and knowledge can only benefit all nations.