4Th Of July History
4th of July History began with a committee of the Continental Congress that was formed in June, 1776 at a Pennsylvania meeting. Thomas Jefferson spent a whole month writing 87 drafts of the Declaration of Independence according to the whims of the committee in the month leading up to the 4th of July. The Continental Congress officially ratified the document on the date subsequently dubbed "Independence Day".
The "Pennsylvania Evening Post" first spread the news about the Declaration on July 6th. Continental Congress members read it publicly on July 8th. This was the first formal celebration of Independence Day. The readings went viral as they spread to other cities and towns in the thirteen colonies.
The history of the 4th of July did not involve formal annual celebrations until Congress confirmed the date as a holiday in 1870. Nevertheless, there were periods of patriotism, after the War of 1812 and other events, when people celebrated 4th of July history with parades, picnics and fireworks. Congress reconfirmed this national holiday in 1938.
The normal celebrations we are well familiar with have always included parades, drinking, fireworks, picnics and the like. However, some communities added more creativity to 4th of July history. A group of elite businessmen in Prescott, Arizona traveled to New Orleans in the 1870s to witness Mardis Gras. The assortment of crazy costumes and circus freak characters inspired a group called "The Horribles" to add a freaky carnival atmosphere to this small mining town's 4th of July history.
The most unlikely townspeople dressed as ostriches, ten foot tall men, elephants, men in drag, the devil, Uncle Sam and other crazy personas as they crashed Prescott's 4th of July parade in 1881. They carried ridiculous signs and read absurd poetry on the streets of what is now downtown Prescott. Uncle Sam read "The Declaration of Impudence" annually at the conclusion of the parade.The group disbanded in 1894, and other groups have occasionally copied their antics under the same name.
This all goes to show that 4th of July history is an evolving endeavor that all of us are continually creating. We can celebrate the nation's independence through beer, hamburgers, parties or creative displays of absurdity. The possibilities are endless. The more interesting we make this holiday, the longer and better future articles on this topic will become.