We celebrate Independence Day every year in America, usually with fireworks, barbeques, boating, swimming, fishing, bonfires, and family or friend get-togethers. But one might wonder just how did the infamous holiday came to be? We know general facts about "it's the birthday of the USA" and we are celebrating our independence, but what does that really mean?
Independence Day, also called Fourth of July or July 4th, in the United States, is the annual celebration of our independence from Great Britain. It commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. Independence Day is celebrated every year on July 4, 2022 in the United States.
According to Britannica.com:
"The Congress had voted in favor of independence from Great Britain on July 2 but did not actually complete the process of revising the Declaration of Independence, originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson in consultation with fellow committee members John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and William Livingston, until two days later. The celebration was initially modeled on that of the king’s birthday, which had been marked annually by bell ringing, bonfires, solemn processions, and oratory. Such festivals had long played a significant role in the Anglo-American political tradition. Especially in the 17th and 18th centuries, when dynastic and religious controversies racked the British Empire (and much of the rest of Europe), the choice of which anniversaries of historic events were celebrated and which were lamented had clear political meanings. The ritual of toasting the king and other patriot-heroes—or of criticizing them—became an informal kind of political speech, further formalized in mid-18th century when the toasts given at taverns and banquets began to be reprinted in newspapers."
Not only do we celebrate our independence from Great Britain, we also celebrate the amendments set forth by our founding fathers, and remember the freedoms of what this country was founded on. If you're curious what exactly those amendments are, or simply need a "refresher", here's a link outlining those amendments in the constitution from whitehouse.gov.
- The First Amendment provides that Congress make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise. It protects freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
- The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms.
- The Third Amendment prohibits the government from quartering troops in private homes, a major grievance during the American Revolution.
- The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. The government may not conduct any searches without a warrant, and such warrants must be issued by a judge and based on probable cause.
- The Fifth Amendment provides that citizens not be subject to criminal prosecution and punishment without due process. Citizens may not be tried on the same set of facts twice and are protected from self-incrimination (the right to remain silent). The amendment also establishes the power of eminent domain, ensuring that private property is not seized for public use without just compensation.
- The Sixth Amendment assures the right to a speedy trial by a jury of one’s peers, to be informed of the crimes with which one is charged, and to confront the witnesses brought forward by the government. The amendment also provides the accused the right to compel testimony from witnesses, as well as the right to legal representation.
- The Seventh Amendment provides that civil cases preserve the right to trial by jury.
- The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments.
- The Ninth Amendment states that the list of rights enumerated in the Constitution is not exhaustive, and that the people retain all rights not enumerated.
- The Tenth Amendment assigns all powers not delegated to the United States, or prohibited to the States, to either the States or to the people.
Will be closed over the 4th of July, in celebration of our independence. We wish you all a safe holiday and will be open again on the 5th.
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