Independence Day

Fourth of July 2016

On July 4th, 1776 the United States laid down its claim to be a free and independent nation by adopting the Declaration of Independence. Today, Independence Day is celebrated and honored in many forms such as fireworks, BBQs and parades. It is an opportunity for Americans to express patriotism and love of country including reflecting on the sacrifices from those in the military.

Independence Day will be officially observed on Monday, July 4, 2016.

Independence Day History

On June 11th, 1776 the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to formally sever ties with Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson, who considered an esteemed writer, was selected to draft the document. After 86 revisions and on July 4th, 1776 the Continental Congress signed the final version.

The first readings of the document included ringing of bells and band music. The following Fourth of July Congress was adjourned in Philadelphia and everybody celebrated with bells, bonfires and fireworks. Soon these customs spread to other areas within the 13 colonies and new customs began to develop such as picnics, speeches, games, military displays and of course fireworks. These traditions continued for almost a century before Congress finally established Independence Day as a holiday.

Independence Day Facts

  • The original copy of the Declaration is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and July 4 has been designated a national holiday to commemorate the day the United States

  • Independence Day 2014 is the 238th Independence Day.

  • 56 People signed the Declaration of Independence.

  • John Hancock was the first signer and famously had the largest signature.

  • In July 1776 there were an estimated 2.5 million people living in the Colonial United States.

  • Currently there are approximately 316 million Americans.

  • The Declaration of Independence was revised 86 times.

  • The first Independence Day was celebrated on July 8, 1776.

  • Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on the Fourth of July, 1826.

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