Commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a US federal holiday
commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on
July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.
Today, Independence Day is commonly celebrated with fireworks,
parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball
games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in
addition to public and private events celebrating American history,
government and traditions.
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the
Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when
the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of
independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of
Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great
After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to
the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this
decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with
Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and
revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on
In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson,
the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve
as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4,
1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.
Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but
another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died
on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third President in a row who
died on this memorable day.
Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President and native Vermonter, was
born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only President to have
been born on Independence Day.
Photo courtesy of the Governor's Institute on the