July 4th Independence day is the perfect time to let your patriotism shine. Every July 4 Americans have a day off work and stuff themselves full of food at picnics. There are activities in the afternoon including baseball games, music and more food. Some cities have parades. Then, at dusk, people watch fireworks displays. This is one birthday celebration you don’t want to miss.
History Behind the Holiday
In the beginning of U.S.’s history, 13 colonies were ruled by the King of England, King George III. These colonies were tired of having a king 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Two acts of defiance made history. Tea was purposely dumped into the Massachusetts Bay (this event, known as the Boston Tea Party, was a reaction by the people to England raising their taxes) and, in Boston harbor, British soldiers fired into a crowd after being jeered and stoned. The number of people killed was exaggerated (only a few people died), but the event became known as the Massacre.
The Big Vote
Virginia took the first step and voted to set up a group to represent the colonies. The first meeting was in 1774 and a draft of a document that would give them freedom from England was written. This document, called the Declaration of Independence, was considered treason and the 56 men who signed it were in some serious danger of being executed. But, they stood by what they believed in – the right to independence.
The First Fourth of July
Things didn’t happen overnight. It took years for the final draft of the Declaration to be written. At the same time, the American Revolution was taking place. The draft was finally accepted on July 4, 1776. Over the next month, the document was read to the public and people celebrated whenever they heard it. In 1783 the war finally ended and Independence Day was made an official holiday.
Have Your Say:
How do you celebrate July 4? Let us know!