The History of Independence Day

Independence Day, a national holiday celebrated on the fourth of July. American citizens celebrate many ways, but some common elements of the holiday are the colors red, white, and blue, and lots of fireworks.

Celebrations may be in order; however, some may not fully understand the historical significance of America’s birthday. We wanted to give our readers a brief history of the holiday while also giving some suggestions on how to spend your day.

In the summer of 1776, conflicts between the colonies in America and England, the colonizer, finally came to a head. Members of the government grew tired of paying taxes without representation within the British Parliament. From June 7 to July 4, representatives of the colonies deliberated on their independence from the British Crown.

Finally, on the first of July, twelve of the thirteen colonies — lacking New York because their home assembly did not grant its approval to vote — decided to claim their independence. The first task was writing the initial document of freedom. The demanding yet momentous task of writing the Declaration of Independence fell on the shoulders of Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson had the mammoth obligation of finding the correct words to stress one point: freedom. He chose well. The famous words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” outline the key point of the .

After three days of editing and re-writing by members of the thirteen colonies, the final document was ready. On the fourth of July, the President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, signed the Declaration of Independence. With that – the colonies were free – though their struggle for England to recognize that freedom lasted another year.

After the War of 1812, in which the United States fought Great Britain, the need for celebration became more apparent. In 1870, it was declared that the fourth of July would become a federal holiday. However, it was not recognized as a paid holiday until 1941.

The city of Dahlonega will be hosting several events to celebrate the holiday to its fullest. You could begin your day with the Firecracker 5k around the scenic city and then attend the All American Market, an opportunity to purchase handmade crafts and meet local vendors, at 10 a.m. in Hancock park. There are several other events throughout the day; however, the main event is the firework show that is hosted on the University of North Georgia Drill Field.

For more information on local events, click here.

How is your town celebrating the fourth of July?