What is Independence Day?
The 4th of July—also known as Independence Day—has been considered a federal holiday in the U.S. since 1941. The day celebrates the Declaration of Independence that was adopted on July 4, 1776. It’s an event that has a massive historical significance that dates back to the 18th century and the American Revolution.
The original United States was made up of East Coast states known as “Thirteen Colonies.” These colonies were run by the British since 1587 and had exploited for their resources such as tobacco. During this time, there was a sense of nationalism across the country. From 1765, settlers began to fight for ‘no taxation without representation,’ trying to reach out in the British parliament.
These protest sometimes lead to acts of dissent and fighting. Many of which including the Boston Tea Party that occurred in 1773. The event was a demand and riot against the Tea Act, legislation that gave the British East India Company a monopoly on the sales of tea in the Thirteen Colonies.
In 1775, a war of Independence against the Britain was declared in a meeting. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed by over 56 representatives of the thirteen states (formerly the Thirteen Colonies). Though the conflict continued, the war ended in favor of the Independent America until 1783 Treaty of Paris.
The thirteen American colonies are now declared as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer within the British Empire.
In 1870, the day has been made as an unpaid national holiday for federal workers by the Congress. By 1938, it became a special paid holiday across the country. Government officials are then taking part of the celebration by giving a speech.
In the history, the day is celebrated with fireworks, feasts, parties, and speeches. In Bristol, Rhode Island, there will always be a salute of 13 gunshots in the morning and evening. And some of the past years, the town has held among the nation’s longest running Independence Day celebration.
Today, Independence Day is being celebrated as a national holiday, an occasion for vacations, reunions, parades, picnics, concerts, baseball games, carnivals, barbecues, ceremonies and political speeches. In well-known activities, there have been parties and firework displays, there is also one presented by the White House.