Independence Day

Most people in the United States celebrate Independence Day, but do you know exactly why the holiday is so important to our country?
Also known as the Fourth of July, this date’s history marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Beginning July 4th, 1776, independence from Great Britain was declared.
A vote for this independence was proposed by Richard Henry Lee originally in June of 1776, just after the separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain.
The Congress met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and they appointed a committee (a group of people working together to do a specific job) to write a formal document that would tell Great Britain that the Americans had decided to govern themselves. The committee asked Thomas Jefferson to write a draft of the document, so he worked for days, in absolute secret, until he had written a document that he thought said everything important that the committee had discussed. On June 28, 1776, the committee met to read Jefferson’s “fair” copy. They revised the document and declared their independence on July 2, 1776. They officially adopted it on July 4, 1776. That is why we call it “Independence Day.” Congress ordered that all members must sign the Declaration of Independence and they all began signing the “official” copy on August 2, 1776. In January of the next year, Congress sent signed copies to all of the states.
The Declaration of Independence is more than just a piece of paper. It is a symbol of our country’s independence and commitment to certain ideas. A symbol is something that stands for something else. The signers of the Declaration of Independence wanted the citizens of the United States to have a document that spelled out what was important to our leaders and citizens. They wanted us to be able to look at the Declaration of Independence and immediately think of the goals we should always be working for, and about the people who have fought so hard to make these ideas possible.
The United States elected two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence as Presidents. They were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. It is a strange fact that both of them died on July 4th, 1826, which was the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration.
Other strange coincidences regarding the 4th of July date also occurred. For instance, James Monroe, who was the fifth President of the U.S., died on July 4th, 1831. And the 30th President of the U.S., Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4th, 1872. He was the only President who was born on Independence Day.


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