After two years of surge in Covid cases kept the world on edge, Americans are celebrating fourth of July that marks the independence of American colonies from British rule. The day also commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in 1776. To celebrate the day, the US also observes a federal holiday on July 4. While the pandemic is not over yet, there has been a relative improvement in the situation with the increase in vaccine coverage.
The celebrations on July 4 or the Fourth of July date back to the 18th century when the Declaration of Independence was adopted. The celebrations had been marked initially by bell ringing, bonfires, and processions – modeled on King Geroge III’s birthday, according to encyclopedia Britannica. But this changed with time. Many towns began holding mock funerals for the king, signifying the end of monarchy and the rebirth of liberty.
The process of adopting Independence began on July 2, 1776, when 12 out of 13 American colonies demanded independence through a vote by the Continental Congress. The petition for freedom was originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson who consulted fellow committee members including John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin among others. Two days later, according to reports, all the 13 colonies decided to adopt the Declaration of Independence, thus paving way for the freedom from British rule and annual celebrations on the day.
The Declaration of Independence highlights equality and liberty. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
How’s the day celebrated?
On this day, since it is a day off from work, people celebrate it through parades and barbecues. Fireworks – considered crucial – light the sky and people gather under a canopy of stars to watch the event.
Colorful displays big and small will light up the night sky in cities from New York to Seattle to Chicago to Dallas. However, others, particularly in drought-stricken and wildfire-prone regions of the West, will forgo them.
Phoenix is also again going without fireworks — not because of the pandemic or fire concerns but due to supply-chain issues, said news agency AP.
In some coincidences, July 4 is also the death anniversary of three US presidents – Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Adams. The 30th US president Calvin Coolidge was born on this day.