John Adams' Vision of Independence Day

July 2, 2015

Did you know that John Adams believed Americans would celebrate Independence Day on July 2nd? This is because the Declaration of Independence was finally approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 2nd, 1776. It was ratified two days later, which is why we celebrate the Fourth of July today instead.

Below is a portion of a letter John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail Adams, on July 3rd 1776:

"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 commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore.

You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that day's transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not."

(source: 12)

CHARLENE ZALE
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