July 4, 1776

At the age of five, we walked into school for the first time, looking around at the big hallways and the classrooms with all the desks.  The first day the bell rang and we sat down at our desk to learn more about the world and things we needed to know to succeed in life.  Little by little the history of this country was taught to us and we listened intently as she, or he, told stories of Paul Revere, George Washington crossing the Delaware and the Boston Tea Party.   All of these stories are part of this nation growing and getting away from British rule.

How much do you remember from your United States history and how July 4th came to be? Most of us think of July 4th as the day we gained independence from England and the Declaration of Independence, the birth of this great nation.  But, July 4th wasn’t the day our Congress decided to declare independence, that was done on July 2, 1776.

So what made July 4th the day we celebrate?  The Continental Congress, as it was called then, approve the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th.  Yes, the Continental Congress worked together and agreed on something, more than our present Congress can do now.   A group of people had been working on the final draft of the Declaration of Independence since it was submitted a few days earlier, making final changes.

According to ConstitutionFacts.com, ““For the first 15 or 20 years after the Declaration was written, people didn’t celebrate it much on any date.  It was too new and too much else was happening in the young nation.  By the 1790’s, a time of bitter partisan conflicts, the Declaration had become controversial.  One party, the Democratic-Republicans, admired Jefferson and the Declaration. But the other party, the Federalists, thought the Declaration was too French and too anti-British, which went against their current policies. 

By 1817, John Adams complained in a letter America seemed uninterested in its past.  But that would soon change.

After the War of 1812, the Federalist party began to come apart and the new parties of the 1820s and 1830s all considered themselves inheritors of Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans.  Printed copies of the Declaration began to circulate again, all with the date July 4, 1776, listed at the top.  The deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4th, 1826, may even have helped to promote the idea of July 4 as an important date to celebrate.”

In 1870, almost 100 years after the signing of the Declaration, Congress declared July 4th as a national holiday, as part of a bill to officially recognize several holidays, including Christmas. 

Over the past several years the United States of America has been tested on its strength to stand up to those who oppose the principles this country was built on.   Those coming into this country believe we should change from English to Spanish to accommodate their lack of English, others believe we should change our ways to accommodate their Muslim beliefs and the 2nd Amendment is on constant attack.  The United States of America is the home of immigrants, but the immigrants came to this country for a better life and they wanted to become citizens of this country, adapting to the laws and beliefs of the United States of America.   If your United States flag offends someone then fly that flag proudly.  It is July 4th and we are here to celebrate our independence and the freedoms we are given in this great country.  Our forefathers came here looking for a better way of life and setting up a Constitution that would last for hundreds of years.

Happy July 4th!

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