The Mountain Times

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Independence Day

Commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a US federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.

Today, Independence Day is commonly celebrated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to public and private events celebrating American history, government and traditions.

BACKGROUND
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain.

After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4.

JULY 4
In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.

Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third President in a row who died on this memorable day.

Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President and native Vermonter, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only President to have been born on Independence Day.

Photo courtesy of the Governor's Institute on the Arts