Independence Day 2021
The United States has a long—and complicated—history, with many holidays and traditions that are still celebrated centuries after their inception. One such holiday was born on July 4th, 1776: Independence Day. Known as the day in which the newly birthed U.S. declared their independence from Great Britain, this holiday would soon become one of the mainstays of American culture, illustrating pride and a sense of patriotism.
History of Independence Day
The journey to Independence Day began in 1775, with the advent of the Revolutionary War (or American Revolution). The war was the result of the citizens of the thirteen American colonies desiring freedom from British rule. At first, the idea of independence was considered to be too extreme, but that notion faded away by 1776.
During a meeting of the Continental Congress on June 7th, Richard Henry Lee, a delegate, put forth a proposal for the colonies to declare their independence. After nearly a month of debate, the Congress decided to go forward with the proposal on July 2nd. Two days later, on July 4th, the Congress adopted Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, formally acknowledging American independence.
The earliest Independence Day celebrations were marked by countless parades, bonfires, and even cannon firings! By the War of 1812, the Fourth of July became a federal holiday, with it eventually becoming a paid holiday for employees in 1941.
Independence Day in a Modern Context
Independence Day is a day that is important to all Americans, in some shape or form. However, it is vital to acknowledge that while July 4th is a day to celebrate the freedom of this country from Britain, that same freedom is not shared equally among American citizens. Despite what might be said, rights and freedoms are not available to all, particularly racial minorities like African-Americans. Voter suppression has run rampant in recent months, and racial inequality is an issue that has permeated this country for centuries. On this Independence Day, please celebrate safely with your families and be mindful of the social issues that still need to be addressed.
Events That You Can Attend
- Arlington Heights Fireworks Show- (July 3rd, 9 pm, Arlington Park, Arlington Heights, Illinois)
- Burr Ridge Fireworks Show- (July 3rd, 9:30 pm, Walker Park, Burr Ridge, Illinois)
- Lombard Fourth of July Fireworks- (July 4th, dusk, Madison Meadow Park, Lombard, Illinois)
- Downers Grove/Woodridge/Darien July 4th Fireworks- (July 4th, 9:30 pm, 75th Street and Lemont Road, Woodridge, Illinois)
- Crown Point Fourth of July Fireworks- (July 4th, dusk, Lake County Fairgrounds, Crown Point, Indiana)
- Munster Independence Fireworks Show (July 3rd, 9:30 pm, Centennial Park, Munster, Indiana)
- History of the Fourth of July – Brief History & Early Celebrations – HISTORY
- Fireworks 2021: 4th of July Chicago area shows – ABC7 Chicago
- What is the Fourth of July to Black Americans? Words From Our Black Freedom Fighters. – Essence