The Fourth of July, or Happy Independence Day in New York is a holiday celebrated in the United States every year.
This year’s hallowed holiday falls on a Tuesday. For many Americans, this means extending the weekend, something they are looking forward to.
What happened, why is it celebrated? The key historical facts behind the holiday.
Why is July 4th Independence Day celebrated?
In the United States, July 4 is observed as a federal holiday to commemorate the Declaration of Independence. This is why July 4th is commonly referred to as Independence Day.
The Declaration of Independence, signed on July 4, 1776, has become a significant date for Americans who celebrate the rich history, values, and birth of the United States.
Celebrate the birthday of America with parades, fireworks, and barbecues.
From which country did independence declare?
The United States of America announced its independence from Great Britain, at the time.
The thirteen colonies that were established by Great Britain before America became its own country began in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.
European countries, notably Great Britain, colonized America for most of the 17th and 18th centuries.
In 1775, there were an estimated 2,5 million settlers in 13 colonies, including New Hampshire, Massachusetts Connecticut, Rhode Island Delaware, New York New Jersey Pennsylvania Maryland Virginia North Carolina South Carolina, and Georgia.
What drove the colonists towards independence from Great Britain
The colonists and Great Britain began to have tensions when Great Britain passed legislation giving it greater control over the colonies. This was especially true in regard to taxing the colonists.
After the French and Indian War Britain began taxing the American colonies to raise revenue.
The passing of laws like the Stamp Act of March 1765, Townshend Acts of June and 1767 as well as Tea Act of 1773 forced colonists to pay more money to Great Britain even though they had no say in Crown policies.
Taxation without representation became the name for this practice, and it was a key pillar of the American Revolution.
Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party were other events that escalated tensions further between British occupiers in America and American colonists.
The tensions were heightened in Massachusetts in April 1775 when the Battles of Lexington & Concord broke out, with British forces attempting to seize weapons from colonists.
The American Revolutionary War was launched when colonial militias fought against British troops for the first time.
What happened on July 4th, 1776?
A number of facts about the 4th of July are fascinating. Here are five interesting facts:
- Independence Day was first celebrated in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777.
- During the summer of 1776, some colonists observed Independence Day by staging mock funerals of King George III of England.
- John Adams, the second President and a founding father of the United States believed that Independence Day should be observed on the 2nd of July.
- Thomas Jefferson, the first President to celebrate Independence Day in the White House was Thomas Jefferson. This happened in 1801. The celebration included horse races, parades, and food.
- Independence Day was not declared a federal holiday by the government until 1870. It wasn’t even a holiday paid for employees until 1941.
Independence Day celebrations: London fireworks and more
Enjoy the local July 4th events in London.
Visit the Benjamin Franklin House in London, the former home of America’s founding fathers.
Enjoy American snacks and drinks while you see the house all decorated for Independence Day.
Join the North London Whisky Club to spend an evening tasting five different examples of American Whiskey and learning about the history of each.
Phil and Caroline, two Love London Tours guides who are qualified to offer pre-Independence Day walks on July 2, will focus on the connections between London and America.