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Fireworks, Freedom, and Home of the Brave, Oh My!

Unlike the actual movie Independence Day, there won’t be any aliens from outer space coming to attack our planet today, even though we would all love Bill Pullman to stand on the back of an army truck and say with a thunderous voice “…the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night!” But this Independence Day will not be celebrated with the destruction of an alien invasion, but celebrated as much as it has always been since 1777.

The first celebration of freedom and independence took place on July 4, 1777, a year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, in Philadelphia with a salute of thirteen cannon shots, fireworks, and street parades. But it is not July 4th that we should be celebrating, but July 2nd. The actual document was written on June 28, 1776 but was not presented until July 1, 1776. The actual signing took place the next day with only 12 colonial delegations (excluding New York) voting in favor of the document and independence. But why celebrate July 4th instead of July 2nd? That is when Thomas Jefferson revised the document and was officially adopted.

John Adams had written to his wife stating that July 2nd would go down in history, but the world has forgotten that memorable day and replaced it with another. But for nearly 93 years, July 4th was celebrated throughout the country although it was not technically considered a national holiday by Congress until 1870. But what is that to stop people from celebrating their new found freedom with food, drinks, and gun powder?

Although July 2nd came and went, there is something special about celebrating America’s independence on July 4th. With fireworks illuminating the night sky, what better way to show your patriotism by singing “America, The Beautiful” by Ray Charles.

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