4th of July – History and Meaning
As the name Independence Day suggests, July 4 marks the splitting of the USA from the British Motherland. On this day in 1776, 13 founding colonies proclaimed the Declaration of Independence. Granted, it would take a long, bloody war until the USA became an independent country. Without the 4th of July, however, there would have been no nation. Therefore, many Americans rightfully view this date as the birthday of the US.
Independence Day could have easily fallen on July 2, the day when the colonies voted on splitting from Britain. This event, however, was held behind closed doors, and the public Declaration of Independence took place two days later.
July 4 became the official founding date, and was first celebrated one year later in Philadelphia – at a time, when the USA were still at war with Britain. This did not stop the colonists from holding mock funerals for the king of England, light bonfires, fire musket shots and publicly read the Declaration of Independence. Soldiers received double rations of rum on that day.