Happy 2nd of July!
John Adams, Founding Father and future President, was certain that July 2 would be the day that Americans would remember as Independence Day. That was the day that the Continental Congress declared the United States independent.
“It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more,” he wrote to his wife on July 3.
Of course, it didn’t work out that way. In fact, none of the delegates even signed the Declaration of Independence until August 2. But the Declaration was adopted on July 4 after some debate and editing, and that’s the date we celebrate today.
Read the full story here: http://blogs.archives.gov/prologue/?p=12430
Image: July 4 fireworks seen from the White House, 1969 (ARC 6721930)