Fourth of July is marked as the historic day when America got independence from Britain. On 4 July 1776, the Continental Congress declared 13 American Colonies independent from the British Rule. Or so this is what is thought & taught in the history books.
The significant day is recognised as a Federal holiday in America and is celebrated to mark the joy & pride of being an independent American. In present, the day is all about parades, fireworks, games, family reunions, carnivals, gunshots, picnics, concerts, barbeques, etc.
Interestingly, this is not exactly how it happened 241 years ago. During the American Revolution, The Second Continental Congress actually voted for independence on 2nd July, separating the 13 colonies from Great Britain. The Founding Father John Adams even wrote to his wife:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. 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.”
July 4th is famous because it was the day when the Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence document & the official signing ceremony took place on August 2.
But this is not it! When the Continental Congress declared independence, the official vote was 12 in favor, 0 against. But wait, weren’t there 13 colonies? Where is that last one? The answer: The colony of New York abstained from the original vote on July 2. New York did not decide to join until July 19. Hence, New York was late to join as the 13th colony of America.
Coincidently, both the Founding Fathers (who also served as Presidents of The U.S.), John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the 50th anniversary of The Declaration, i.e., on 4 July 1826.