We would like to wish all New Yorkers a safe and enjoyable Independence Day holiday. Let it be one that is more than just family gatherings and lazy days at the beach.
Let this Fourth of July reminds us all how lucky we all are to live in a nation that is free and where each individual is accorded respect and dignity and entitled to pursue a life filled with liberty and happiness without the heavy hand of an oppressive government.
This holiday is also a good time to remember those who are serving in far off lands so that we may be free. May God Bless them and their families not only on this special day but on every day of the year.
A few words on the holiday itself follow.
In the United States, Independence Day, known as, and more commonly referred to by the phrase “Fourth of July”, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4.
One of the most enduring myths about Independence Day is that Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The myth had become so firmly established that, decades after the event and nearing the end of their lives, even the elderly Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had come to believe that they and the other delegates had signed the Declaration on the fourth. Most delegates actually signed the Declaration on August 2, 1776. In a remarkable series of coincidences, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two founding fathers of the United States and the only two men who signed the Declaration of Independence to become president, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the United States’ 50th anniversary. President James Monroe died exactly five years later, on July 4, 1831, but he was not a signatory to the Declaration of Independence.