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What is 4th of July?

Festivals | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

Fourth of July marks the formation of a free and united America. It is the day when the color of blood for an American citizen, is not it’s usual red but is the shades of white, red and blue. Amidst the loud drums and firecrackers, one can clearly hear the songs of American pride that is celebrated on this day.

History of 4th of July

  • Did you know that in reality, Independence was formally declared on July 2nd 1776, when the 13 colonies were legally separated from the Great Britain.
  • The Congress just approved the final text of the Declaration on July 4th 1776. And it wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776!
  • The reason for the celebration of Independence day on 4th is that the date written on the Declaration is, 4th July, and hence, it is stuck in the minds of people.
  • Since 1870, this day is celebrated as a federal holiday each year.

Fact: Thomas Jefferson was the one who wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence for America.

4th of July Facts

  • The continental Congress approved the final draft of the Declaration of Independence on 2nd July 1776. The draft was actually submitted on 2nd July.
  • The original copy of this Declaration, written in a glamorous handwriting, is now kept and displayed at the National Archives in Washington DC.
  • Dunlap broadsides: The term ‘Dunlap broadsides’ is used to describe the first copies of the Declaration of Independence. These were printed on the night of July the 4th, by John Dunlap at his shop, and hence, were given the name Dunlap broadsides. According to a rough estimate, over 200 copies were printed of which, 25 are known to exist today.
  • The term John Hancock is used synonymously with ‘signature’ because he was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence. Not only did he sign it first, he also made sure that his signature was big and clear so that the British king would not need glasses to read it.
  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were the only signers of the Declaration who served the States as the presidents. Co-incidentally, both of them died on the same day on 4th July 1826 which was the 50th anniversary of the acceptation of the Declaration of Independence.

Fourth of July Traditions and Events

Fourth of July is celebrated in many different ways! Here are some of the most interesting ones:

  • Fun-together: This is the day of family re-unions. People decorate their houses, cars and streets with flags, balloons, streamers and so on. Neighbors also come together and take part in block parties where people from the same block celebrate in various ways. This is in fact a trademark tradition that has been followed since 1870.
  • Pot-a-belly: People visit each others’ house to enjoy the evening home-made snacks, the desserts that give a sugar-high and drinks that fizz out in fun. Food is all prepared in the colors of Independence so that everyone’s stomach shout in excitement.
  • The parade: The American Independence day parade, which includes bands, giant balloons, drill teams, boy scouts carrying flags etc, is an annual sight that has solidified as an important tradition over the years. It takes place at 11:45 AM in Washington DC, on Constitution Avenue.
  • Fire up the sky: In previous years, the day was celebrated by firing gun shots or cannons firing 13 times, depicting the Independence of the 13 colonies. Now fireworks cover up the entire sky on this occasion.

Quick Learning Facts: July Fourth

  • Number of signers of the Declaration: 56.
  • Oldest signer of the Declaration: Benjamin Franklin.
  • National Anthem of United States of America: The Star-Spangled Banner.

To read more interesting festivals for kids, click HERE

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