The “Real” Story Behind the 4th of July

unnamed-2The infamous 4th of July or Independence Day, is perhaps the proudest day of the year for Americans. The 4th, as we like to refer to it, has been recognized as a federal holiday in the United States since 1938.

The tradition of Independence Day celebrations dates back to the 18th century commemorating the birth of the American Revolution on July 2, 1776.

That’s right, I said July 2nd. It was on July 2, 1776 that the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the thirteen colonies adopted the historic document written by Thomas Jefferson, known as the Declaration of Independence.


From the initial battles in 1775 of the so called “Revolutionary War” few early Americans known as colonists wanted complete independence from England. It wasn’t for another two years that majority of Americans sought to be free, primarily due to Great Britain’s continued lack of respect for the colonies.

It was on June 7, 1776 when the Continental Congress gathered at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and Virginia delegate, Richard Henry Lee, first introduced a “motion” calling for the colonies’ independence.

Congress couldn’t make up its mind, so it formed a Committee of Five which included Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin and Robert R. Livingston to write a formal statement to justify the break with Great Britain. Not a bad starting five!

On July 2, 1776, Congress voted in favor the resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote due to an abstention from the New York delegate. However, he later changed his vote to the affirmative.

John Adams proudly wrote to his wife Abigail, “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epoch, 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.”.

It was two days later, on July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence.

The great John Adams hated that the 4th was celebrated as Independence Day, firmly believing that July 2nd was the true, correct date. In the following years up to his death, he would turn down invitations to appear at 4th of July events in protest.

On an interesting note, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. That fact has always blown me away. By the way, if you haven’t seen the TV miniseries, “John Adams”, check it out, it’s great!

Early celebrations included concerts, bonfires, parades and of course the obligatory firing of cannons and muskets along with public readings of the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of Independence Day on July 4, 1777. We were still at war then, and George Washington ordered double rations of rum to all his soldiers in his ranks to honor the anniversary of independence in 1778.

In 1781, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday in 1870. It was not until 1938 that provision was expanded to allow it to be a paid holiday to all federal employees.

As the 4th of July approaches, hug your parents, your kids and especially a veteran. Take a moment to reflect at the enormous sacrifices that were made to create and sustain this great nation of ours. Above all, be proud to be an American!

Visit My Other Sites

Please click here to download SFA Disclosures, privacy policy and business continuity plan. Springer Financial Disclosures. Springer Financial Advisors ("Advisor") is a federally registered investment adviser located in Sacramento, California. Advisor and its representatives are in compliance with the current filing requirements imposed upon registered investment advisers by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the State of California. Advisor's web site and its emails of general distribution are limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its advisory services, together with access to additional investment-related information, publications, and links. Accordingly, the publication of Advisor's web site on the Internet or dissemination of informational emails should not be construed by any consumer and/or prospective client as Advisor's solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, over the Internet. A copy of Advisor's current written disclosure statement discussing Advisor's business operations, services, and fees is available from Advisor upon written request. You may also obtain publicly available information about Advisor through the SEC website as follows: Advisor does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Advisor's web site or incorporated in an email, and takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is believed to be reliable and authoritative but does not constitute sufficient information to be the sole basis for sound investment decisions and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Therefore, no current or prospective client should assume that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Advisor) made reference to directly or indirectly by Advisor in its web site, email, or indirectly via a link to an unaffiliated third party web site, will be profitable or equal the corresponding indicated performance level(s). Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will either be suitable or profitable for a client or prospective client's investment portfolio. Certain portions of Advisor's web site (i.e. articles, commentaries, etc.) may contain a discussion of, and/or provide access to, Advisor's (and those of other investment and non-investment professionals) positions and/or recommendations as of a specific prior date. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, such discussion may no longer be reflective of current position(s) and/or recommendation(s). Moreover, no client or prospective client should assume that any such discussion serves as the receipt of, or a substitute for, personalized advice from Advisor, or from any other investment professional. The term, qualified retirement advisor is not an official designation. The information is of a general nature and should not be applied indiscriminately to particular situations wherein it may not be completely applicable. Advisor is neither an attorney nor an accountant, and no portion of the content should be interpreted as legal, accounting or tax advice. Keith Springer, SFA’s President, provides investment commentary as host of “Smart Money with Keith Springer” on KFBK NewsRadio AM 1530. Smart Money with Keith Springer is paid for by SFA and is deemed advertising by the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Click Here To Get Your Free Customized Retirement Income and Tax Strategy Analysis