How The 4th of July Came to Be
Learn more about this patriotic holiday, and the many ways that Americans celebrate the day in this crash course on America's Independence Day.
Also called Independence Day, the Fourth (4th) of July is a public holiday in the United States of America that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared the original colonies to be free from British rule.
The 4th of July commemorates the events when the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, which declared the Thirteen Colonies to be free and independent of England.
After the July 2 vote, John Adams famously wrote to Abigail, his wife:
"The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."