Happy 4th of July! Today is a day filled with parades, sporting events, cook-outs in the backyard with family and friends, fireworks, and wearing red, white and blue. Today we honor those who have fought for our country and we show our American pride. Starting from the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted back in 1776, the 4th of July has steadily grown into the major national holiday that it is today.
You may not know that founding father John Adams believed that July 2 would go down in history as our independence day because that was the actual day that the resolution to legally separate from Britain was voted on. In a letter to his wife he wrote that July 2 would be “celebrated by succeeding generations.” But the wording of the Declaration was further debated by the delegates and approved two days later. The first major fireworks displays authorized by Congress took place in Boston and Philadelphia on July 4, 1977. In 1778 George Washington celebrated the day with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute. It wasn’t until 1791 that the term Independence Day was first recorded as being used. In 1870 the U.S. Congress declared the 4th of July an unpaid holiday for federal employees, and finally in 1938 Congress made it a legal national holiday.
The 4th of July was celebrated in the 1950’s similar to the way it is today. People went to parades and fireworks displays, teenagers often went to sock hops, and neighborhoods hosted big parties to celebrate. However you choose to celebrate this year please remember to be safe. Happy 4th of July from the entire Gunther Toody’s family!