American Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is celebrated on July 4 to memorialize the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Second Continental Congress. It has been observed as a federal holiday in the US since 1941. The holiday will fall on Tuesday in the year 2023.
Why Do We Celebrate Independence Day on July 4th?
Here’s why July 4 became such an important date in American history:
Declaration of Independence
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress, a governing body representing the thirteen American colonies, formally adopted the Declaration of Independence. This document, drafted primarily by Thomas Jefferson, declared the colonies’ separation from British rule and outlined the principles of self-governance and individual rights.
Approval and Distribution
After the delegates approved the Declaration of Independence, copies were printed and distributed throughout the colonies. The document’s signing took place on August 2, 1776, and it continues to be recognized as a symbol of American liberty and the birth of the United States.
Public Awareness and Celebration
The Declaration of Independence sparked widespread awareness and support for the cause of independence from Britain. News of the declaration spread rapidly, and the people celebrated the momentous event with parades, speeches, bonfires, and other public demonstrations.
Tradition and Historical Significance
The date, July 4, 1776, became ingrained in the American consciousness as the official announcement of the colonies’ intent to form an independent nation. Over time, it grew significantly and became a nationally recognized holiday to commemorate the country’s founding principles and celebrate American patriotism.
John Adams’ Prediction
John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers and later the second President of the United States, believed that July 4 would be celebrated as a day of national importance. In a letter to his wife, Abigail Adams, he wrote, “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival…solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations.”
Since 1776, Americans have continued to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, marking the birth of the United States and the principles of liberty, freedom, and self-determination that are fundamental to the nation’s identity. It is a day of remembrance, reflection, and gratitude for the vision and sacrifices of the Founding Fathers and the countless individuals who fought for and continue to defend American independence.
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Best Ways to Celebrate the Fourth of July on a Budget
Celebrating the Fourth of July doesn’t have to break the bank. Being unnecessarily fancy and grand disturbs your budget and drags you away from the essence of the day. It becomes more of a pomp and show than a cherished tradition of commemorating a historical event.
Beem explores the best ways to enjoy the most honored American holiday on a budget:
Host a Potluck BBQ
Instead of shouldering the entire BBQ cost, invite friends and family to bring a dish to share. This way, everyone contributes, making it a more affordable and enjoyable gathering.
Get creative and make your patriotic decorations. Use red, white, and blue craft materials like construction paper, balloons, and ribbons to add a festive touch to your home or outdoor space.
Attend Local Fireworks Displays
Many towns and cities organize public fireworks displays on the Fourth of July. Check your local community’s schedule and enjoy the show without spending money on your fireworks.
Enjoy a Picnic
Pack a picnic basket with homemade sandwiches, snacks, and drinks, and head to a local park or beach. Enjoy the outdoors, play games, and celebrate with a cost-effective and enjoyable day out.
If fireworks are legal in your area and you want to have your display, opt for smaller and more affordable options. Sparklers, snappers, and party poppers can provide fun and excitement without hurting your pocket.
Organize a Parade
Gather friends and family for a neighborhood parade. Decorate bikes, wagons, or even yourselves in patriotic attire and march through the neighborhood, spreading joy and celebrating together.
Host a movie marathon featuring patriotic films. There are many classic American movies. Some options include “Independence Day,” “Saving Private Ryan,” or even a classic like “1776” that captures the spirit of the holiday. Set up a cozy viewing area and popcorn, and enjoy a day of cinematic patriotism.
Organize a friendly competition with classic outdoor games like sack races, three-legged races, or a water balloon toss. These games require minimal equipment and are great for all ages.
Have a Campfire
Build a bonfire or set up a small fire pit in your backyard and gather around for a cozy evening. Roast marshmallows, tell stories, and enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a campfire.
Volunteer or Give Back
Use the Fourth of July to give back to your community. Volunteer at a local charity or participate in a community service project. It is a meaningful way to celebrate the holiday while ensuring that there is a positive impact.
Engaging in activities embodying the spirit of patriotism and unity can be as small as visiting local historical sites or landmarks associated with American history. This could include visiting a museum, a historic battlefield, or a significant location related to the American Revolution. Consider expressing your appreciation by writing a letter to those who have served in the military or contributed to the nation’s progress.
Remember, the essence of the Fourth of July lies in spending time with loved ones, appreciating our freedoms, and celebrating the spirit of independence. Bring out your camera or smartphone and capture the day’s special moments. Don’t forget to take photos or record videos while celebrating through family gatherings, fireworks displays, or fun activities. Cherish and share the memories for years to come. With some creativity and planning, you can have a memorable and enjoyable celebration without straining your budget.