has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the
tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century
and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental
Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates
from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic
document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day,
July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with
festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual
family gatherings and barbecues.
out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from
Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical.
colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility
against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those
expressed in the bestselling pamphlet “Common Sense,” published by Thomas Paine in early 1776.