The history of Independence day celebrations began when the first celebration occurred on July 8, 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. People waited in anticipation, waiting to hear the reading of the newly written "Declaration of Independence". The Liberty bell hanging in Independence Hall rang out to gather the townspeople. Independence day is now celebrated on July 4th, because that is the actual day that the Continental Congress adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.
In 1804, Lewis and Clark celebrated the 1st Independence Day west of the Mississippi. They celebrated by naming "Independence Creek" (near what is now Atchison, Kansas),firing a keelboat's canon, and drinking extra whiskey.
Did you know that it wasn't until 1804 that the first formal Independence Day celebration took place at the White House? It wasn't until 1783 that Independence Day was made an official holiday, and not until 1941 did Congress finally declare the 4th of July a federal holiday.
The population of the newly independent nation was approximately 2.5 million on July 4th, 1776? In 2012, the estimated population as of July 4, 2012 is now over 313 million (source: U.S. Census Bureau Population Clock).
Three former Presidents died on July 4th. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4th, 1826. It was the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which both men played a important part in, and Thomas Jefferson wrote. James Monroe died five years later on July 4, 1831.
For your own 4th of July events, visit our 4th of July decorations page for some great party supplies!
For some quotes about independence, visit our Independence Day Quotes page.
For a few 4th of July recipes, visit our American Flag Cake page.
If you need some fun, printable games for your 4th of July party, I recommend Python Printable Games - they have several patriotic, printable trivia and games available, including their 4th of July Games Pack!.
Below are some videos showcasing Independence Day celebrations that you might enjoy.