Tuesday, July 3, 2018

July 4th - Federal Holiday

July, America, American, Blue, Country  July 4th is the day we celebrate declaring our independence back in 1776.  That date is when the continental congress approved the final draft of the document.

Although the document declared this country's independence from Britain, a war had to be fought and won before it became a reality.

For the first couple of decades after the declaration was signed, nothing much was celebrated.  America being so new, had other tings to focus on such as setting up a government via the constitution, arranging presidential elections, a national bank, and so much more that most people didn't celebrate July 4th.

The celebrations early on consisted of things such as in 1776, immediately following the signing of the declaration, people celebrated the by holding fake funerals for King George to support the idea that his rule was at an end here.  On the other hand, the first readings were celebrated with concerts, parades, bonfires, and cannons.

On July 4, 1777, Philadelphia celebrated the Declaration of Independence complete with fireworks. In addition, Bristol, Rhode Island celebrated this date with 13 shots in both the morning and the evening.  They are credited with having the longest running July 4th celebration.

In 1778, George Washington ordered double rations of rum for his troops to celebrate the holiday but it wasn't until 1781, when Massachusetts made it a state holiday. The first state to do so but as time passed, more and more places joined in with the July 4th celebrations and more and more places included fireworks as part of the celebration.

By the end of the 18th century, the main political parties began holding independent celebrations nation wide.  When the war of 1812 ended, celebrations had become more common place.  In 1826, Thomas Jefferson declined an invitation to go to Washington D.C for the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence due to being extremely ill.

 In 1870  the federal government declared July 4th as a federal holiday.  It took until 1938 for the government to declare it as a paid federal holiday.   In the meantime, celebrations with fireworks  have become more and more commonplace both in person or on television so we can enjoy the huge affairs in D.C. and other places.

In parts of Alaska, they celebrate with parades or concerts but they do not use fireworks because it does not get dark enough.  Ester, just outside of Fairbanks, hosts a parade made up of any group who wishes to participate.  The parade is judged but all judges are open to bribery.  I'm told a good bottle of liqueur will buy a vote just as well as a 6 pack of beer.

Tomorrow is the day, I hope you and your family enjoy your celebration.  Have a good holiday, and enjoy your day.

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