The Fourth of July, aka Independence Day, is America’s most iconic holiday and undoubtedly its favorite as well. Who doesn’t love a day featuring parades, fireworks, barbecues, baseball and family reunions? A bit of background: on July 2nd, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted in favor of the independence of the colonies from Great Britain. Two days later, delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, which was drafted by Thomas Jefferson and edited by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. The Declaration, along with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, would become the foundations of our fledgling democracy; the Declaration would also provide a model for the French Revolution of 1789. While much of the above is familiar to many of us, did you know that John Adams maintained till his dying day that July 2nd was the correct date to celebrate American independence? He would protest July 4 celebrations by refusing all invitations on that famous day. Ironically, “frenemies” and political opponents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Click here to learn more about the history and traditions of Independence Day from the Library of Congress site. Click on the book jackets below to be taken to links in our catalog.
“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
"We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty.” Mark Twain