July 4: Independence Day
By THGC Admin
By Lorraine Okafor, Program Intern
"July 4th Fireworks, Washington, D.C." by Carol M. Highsmith | Photo via the Library of Congress
July 4th has finally arrived, and across the United States, Americans have been gearing up for its celebration. Festivities often include outdoor celebrations and demonstrations, including fireworks and grilling. But did you know that the Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, was not meant to be on the fourth of the month but rather on the second of July?
In 1776 Americans from the 13 colonies were already fighting the British in the Revolutionary War when they drafted a resolution to separate from Great Britain. July 2nd was initially the day that the Continental Congress voted for separation. However, it wasn't until July 4 that what is known as the Declaration of Independence came to fruition. That day became the day Americans all over would come to celebrate as their fateful day of Independence.
Although the first Revolutionary War occurred in the late 18th century and the Declaration was signed in the same period, the celebrations of independence were not made official until 1870, when the US Congress made it a national holiday. And, it wasn’t until 1941 that Congress declared paid vacation leave for non-essential federal employees-in case you were ever wondering why the Post Office is closed on the day.
The fourth of July is a holiday unlike many others. Americans surround themselves with friends and family and with music and food as the spirit of joy and the remembrance of freedom fills the atmosphere. The original planned day of Independence may have been lost throughout the years, but the fervor of the American people to celebrate their independence remains a strong force.
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission is working with Texas Tech University to honor the ideal of freedom of all people, by illuminating the experiences of Texan Liberators of World War II Nazi concentration camps. If you know of a Liberator who was born within the state, or resided here at some point, please submit their information here. We want to include every single serviceperson involved in the Liberation. Thank you.Tags: 1776 america fourth of july independence liberator project revolutionary war united states