8 Year Anniversary party winners: Joan Hochstetler's book winner is -- Caryl Kane, Naomi Musch's ebook goes to Crissy Yoder Shamion, Roseanna White's winner is -- Connie Saunders, Pegg Thomas's "A Bouquet of Brides" goes to Deanna Stevens, Debra E. Marvin's winner is -- Becky Dempsey, Carrie Fancett Pagels' giveaway of Colonial Michilimackinac: Michigan State Parks goes to Wilani Wahl, Carla Olson Gade's winner is Leila Reynolds, Shannon McNear -- Kaitlin Covel

Friday, July 5, 2019

Celebrating the 4th of July ~ Some History

This July fourth, Americans celebrate 243 years from when our nation was born. But why commemorate it on the fourth each year when the Continental Congress declared independence on July 2, 1776, and the Revolutionary War began in April of 1775?  Thomas Jefferson had submitted the first draft in June of 1776 but it wasn’t until July 4, 1776, was when the final wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress. 

The Declaration was first publicly read at Independence Square in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. It wasn’t until August 2, 1776, when the document was signed by fifty men, and months later before the final six signatures were added.

How did America begin celebrating this auspicious day?

On July 3, 1776, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail his vision of how the day should be spent. “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

A year later, Congress adjourned and the city celebrated in an orderly manner with bonfires, fireworks, lit candles, thirteen rockets, muskets firing, and ringing bells. Boston also celebrated with fireworks that same year. To commemorate Independence Day, on its anniversaries, General Washington gave double rations of rum to his soldiers. Fireworks became more widely available to communities by 1783 the year the peace was signed with our former adversary.

Over the next three decades, many towns observed the Fourth of July with the reading of the Declaration, concerts, processions, military demonstrations, speeches, picnics, games, and fireworks. But it wasn’t until the end of the War of 1812 with Great Britain that this significant patriotic event became popular throughout the country. The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States would often be played as part of the July fourth celebrations.

In 1941 Independence Day or July 4th became a federal holiday in the United States.

Today, we commemorate Independence Day with social gatherings, parades, barbecues, fireworks and in many of the same ways as they did centuries ago. 

What special traditions do you have to honor our great nation?


  1. Thank you Janet for this wonderful and informative post about celebrating 4th of July. It is a great reminder as to why we celebrate the 4th.
    Blessings, Tina

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Tina. This day is such a reminder of the incredible sacrifice, cost, and faith of our founders.

  3. I don't live with anyone (no pets,even) so no traditions that I've made. I should but I prefer to do things with my family. They moved away a couple years ago though so I haven't really celebrated for a couple years. I have a special WELCME door decoration I purchased, so I pu that up but that's the extent of my celebrating except posts and things on Facebook.

    1. Celebrations don't need to be lavish, Sabrina. Just remembering what our fore-bearers were willing to sacrifice to create and preserve our nation honors them.

  4. Usually we visit my parents and go to the Blueberry farm to pick berries to freeze but this year we had things to do at home so we worked outside all day. I did cook burgers over a fire and made macaroni salad for hubby.

    1. Sounds like fun, Lucy. We enjoy picking blueberries at a local farm also.


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