Thomas Jefferson wanted the fact that he authored the Declaration of Independence on his tombstone. Even though his work was edited, he is credited with the authorship. The favorable vote for independence was conducted by Congress on July 2, 1776. According to the National Archives website:
Independence Day Should Have Been July 2 –July 2, 1776 is the day that the Continental Congress actually voted for independence. John Adams, in his writings, even noted that July 2 would be remembered in the annals of American history and would be marked with fireworks and celebrations. The written Declaration of Independence was dated July 4 but wasn’t actually signed until August 2. Fifty-six delegates eventually signed the document, although all were not present on that day in August.
After the Declaration was finally approved and dated July 4, the document was not signed until August 2.
John Adams thought that July 2 would be the day that celebrations took place marking American independence. He said in a July 3, 1776 letter to his wife:
But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. 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.
As we all know, July 4th is the day which became an unpaid federal holiday in 1870.
So say a prayer, play some games, explode some things and watch some fireworks starting today through July 4 and you’ll have everything covered.
And if you give gifts, here is a suggestion.