Most folks know July 4th as the day early American settlers gained their independence from British rule. The year was 1776 and there was much celebrating to be had that year, but the 4th of July did not become a federal holiday until 1870. (Massachusetts, the home of John Adams, one of the founding fathers and signatory of the Declaration of Independence, was the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.)

In 1776, some colonists celebrated their independence by holding mock funerals for King George III to symbolize the “death” of the monarchy’s hold on America and to celebrate the triumph of liberty.

There were also bonfires , parades, music and the firing of cannons and muskets – as well as a public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The tradition of setting off fireworks began a year later, in 1777, in Philadelphia and Boston. Philadelphia’s celebration also included a 13-gun salute from a ship in the harbor to honor the 13 colonies.

Here are a few ideas to help you celebrate the 4th this year:

  • Host a patriotic movie marathon with such greats as Gettysburg, Saving Private Ryan, Hidden Figures, Top Gun, Lincoln and more!
  • Make a patriotic playlist from big bands to contemporary hits.
  • Visit a local or national monument, historic site or museum.
  • Challenge your friends and family to a historical trivia contest.
  • Get crafty and make a patriotic-inspired wreath, centerpiece, or paper pinwheels.
  • Read up on American history or immerse yourself in a great historical fiction book.
  • Go to a parade or fireworks display – one with music would be even better.

Bloomer Broadband wishes everyone a safe and happy 4th of July!


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