The Fourth of July has long been celebrated as Independence Day in the United States, but did history get the date wrong? Legally speaking, the Thirteen Colonies separated from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, after the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution of independence, declaring the United States independent from Great Britain rule. However, the wording of the Declaration of Independence took two more days to approve, which is why we celebrate our independence on the 4th of July instead of the 2nd. But should the United States celebrate the date, or the document? John Adams felt it was the former, writing the following to his wife Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
So while we prepare for to celebrate our independence on July 4th, perhaps we should also celebrate July 2nd as our Day of Deliverance!
Happy 2nd and 4th of July!