The Continental Congress voted to approve the a motion for independence in a secret meeting on July 2nd. Over the next two days the worked and revised the text while Thomas Jefferson worked through the night writing the Declaration of independence. On the morning of July 4th at a little after 11 am the Congress voted and adopted on July 4th. Word of the declaration began to spread through Philadelphia and on July 8th printed copies began to circulate in Philadelphia.
The new government of the United States didn’t recognize July 4th until 1781, and it was first known as independence day in 1791. In 1804 the Federal Government recognized July 4th as an unpaid federal holiday.
July 4th History
Independence Day July 4th is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of the United States of America. Since the Declaration of Independence was adopted by congress on July 4 of 1776 it is that day we celebrate.
Richard Lee of Virginia started the Declaration of Independence as a resolution on June 7, 1776. The resolution called for the Continental Congress to declare the United States free from British Rule. A committee led by Thomas Jefferson was appointed to prepare a document to detail the resolution. Jefferson was chosen because he was considered to be the most eloquent writer in the committee. Other famous members of the committee included Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Rodger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. The completed declaration was officially adopted by the Congressional Congress on July 4th of 1776. The first newspaper to print a copy of the declaration of independence was the July 6th edition of the Pennsylvania Evening Post.
On the first anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in 1775 a celebration was held. People celebrated with friends and families by starting bonfires and then setting off fireworks. Eventually the celebration spread throughout the new nation and began to include parades, processions, games, picnics, and fireworks. In 1941 the congress of the United States declared July 4th as a legal federal holiday. Most businesses and federal offices are closed on July 4th in observance of the holiday. Today over 200 years later people still continue to celebrate with family and friends with picnics, parades, bar-b-ques and fireworks.