The 4th of July: Independence Day

The 4th of July is seen as the birthday of the United States of America, with the country using this day to enjoy and celebrate the freedom that came with the event and that makes it so special. The man who authored the Declaration of Independence was Thomas Jefferson, who led the committee that came up with the declaration between the 11th and 28th of June 1776.  Jefferson, together with representatives from 13 colonies that were equally discontented, voted for and approved the declaration on July 4, 1776. 

The document was a declaration of freedom from British rule for the 13 colonies, and currently sits in the National Archives’ Exhibition Hall in Washington DC. All representatives did not put their signatures on the Declaration of Independence until later in the year, in August.  The president of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, had to sign it in order to make it official; this is, of course, the origin of the modern expression ‘put your John Hancock on it’,  meaning to put your signature on something.

People today enjoy the advantages of the freedom that the framers signed and eventually fought for.  For Americans in the 21st century, it is a day of baseball, family picnics and hot dogs – and no 4th of July would be complete without fireworks and parades, of which you will most likely have a number of different ones to choose from in your local area.  Happy Birthday, America!

Jon Huser