July 4th – Celebrating American Independence for more than 240 Years!

Independence Day – many countries celebrate Independence Day with traditions unique to their culture. In the United States, we’ve been celebrating this most patriotic holiday for more than 240 years on July 4th. Here are some cool facts about the 4th of July.

  • Although the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence on July 2, 1776, it wasn’t adopted until July 4.
  • John Adams refused to recognize July 4 and felt that July 2 should have been honored as the true Independence Day. (July 4th)
  • The first public printing of the Declaration of Independence was on July 6, 1776, in the Pennsylvania Evening Post. (Independence Day in the United States)
  • The first public readings of the Declaration of Independence took place on July 8, 1776, in Philadelphia and was accompanied by the ringing of bells (including the first ringing of the Liberty Bell) and band music. (Independence Day in the United States)
  • Three presidents of the United States died on July 4: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson within hours of each other in 1826 and James Monroe in 1831. (July 4)
  • Congress established Independence Day as a holiday in 1870 and voted to make it a paid holiday for federal employees in 1938. (The History of America’s Independence Day)

John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776, describing his vision of how Independence Day would be celebrated in the future with “pomp and parade, with shows, games sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations” throughout the country. (Independence Day in the United States)

vintage Independence Day greetings

The way we celebrate hasn’t changed all that much since then. We still have patriotic parades, concerts that include patriotic music, and lots of fireworks! Since the late 19th century picnics and barbecues have become part of the tradition, too. Baseball is a 20th-century tradition. The Declaration of Independence is still read every year in the Boston area. Hailey, Idaho, a traditional Old West celebration is held each year. Whether you live in a small town or New York City where the biggest fireworks display in the country, July 4th celebrations abound from sea to shining sea this year.

We love to celebrate the 4th of July at Recollections! We wish you the best on this patriotic holiday. Have a Happy 4th of July!


A Capitol Fourth.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 02 July 2016.

History.com Staff. “July 4th.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 02 July 2016.

Independence Day in the United States.” Independence Day in the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 July 2016.