John Adams wrote, “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, 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 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 seems nobody told Congress or the general American public at the time – because the official announcement regarding the Declaration was issued for the first time on July 4, and that was the day upon which Americans seized for celebration, from the outset. July 4thhas always been marked by parades, fireworks, picnics, and other civilian displays of patriotism in order to celebrate a watershed moment in the birth of a nation. However, the Declaration of Independence both as a document and as an action taken by a group of men of European descent, is a much more complicated phenomenon than it may seem on the surface.
To dive a little deeper into the Declaration, and everything that declaring Independence meant for Americans of all origins, ethnicities, genders, faiths, and freedom statuses, come to Middleton Place this weekend for special July 4thprogramming. Programs will run both Saturday July 3 and Sunday July 4 from 11:00am-3:00pm. Also, take a look at last year’s Plugged In To History with Director of Preservation and Interpretation, Jeff Neale, to examine the document further: