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NCR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion #40 – July 2023

July 1, 2023

NCR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion #40 – July 2023
Cultural Observances, Awareness Information and Events

Independence Day

Independence Day and Fireworks

Why does the United States commemorate July 4 specifically, since the Declaration of Independence actually was signed later? 

July 4th, also known as Independence Day, marks the anniversary of the Second Continental Congress adopting the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  They did find a way to put differences aside and join together to work for a common goal.  Declaring independence and also interdependence.

The Continental Congress didn’t vote for independence on just July 4th.  Twelve of the 13 colonies had approved a resolution call for independence on July 2, 1776.  Many of the original signers didn’t ink their names on the Declaration of Independence until August 2, 1776.   July 4th became more widely observed following the War of 1812.  Independence Day became the most nonreligious holiday for many Americans by the 1870s, and Congress passed a law-making Independence Day a federal holiday on June 28, 1870.

Independence Day meant that the United States went from being controlled by Great Britain to being an independent county that would govern itself.

Why Fireworks on 4th of July?

Cannons were fired 13 times for 13 colonies and 13 fireworks were also fired as part of the celebrations.

Fireworks have been a part of Independence Day since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Fireworks became a component of Independence Day celebrations as the result of hundreds of years of royal pageantry.


Did You Know?

The Signed Copy Isn’t the Original
The original copy from July 4 that went to the printer and distributed was an engrossed copy.  It was a handwritten copy most likely by the pen of clerk Timothy Matlack.  This copy is widely recognized as the original.

Eight of The Signers Weren’t Born in America
Gwinnett Button, Robert Morris, Francis Lewis, James Wilson, John Witherspoon, George Taylor, Matthew Thorton and James Smith were all born in different parts of Great Britain.

The Ideas In the Declaration Weren’t Original
Exact phrases and ideas are copied from Jefferson’s Constitution of Virginia, as well as from the 1689 English Declaration of Rights, which ended King James II’s reign as ruler of England.  The Declaration of Independence was a reiteration of American Ideology.

After It’s Original Purpose, It Was Widely Ignored
It was used to start a revolution against King George III, it mainly fell to the wayside.  Until Abraham Lincoln used it as the main focus and backbone of his Gettysburg address in 1863.  It’s become recognized symbol for human rights.


Lt Col Bonnie Braun
NCR Diversity Officer

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