Independence Day, What Actually Happened on July 4th, 1776

Yesterday a good friend and I attended a political function for the announcement of Missouri’s Senate race, Austin Petersen. As we listened to the crowd cheer and scream I was beginning to wonder if most people truly understood the importance of July 4th, 1776. Having spent the majority of my life as a history lover I didn’t think much of it and went on with the evenings festivities.

On that late evening listening to the fireworks from everyone celebrating Independence Day I stumbled upon a tongue-in-cheek meme that describes what colonists were rebelling against. After reading the comments it occurred to me that in fact most people truly don’t understand the reasons behind colonial rebellion. Every comment was pointing out this day is about how we gain our Independence and how it’s a day to support our armed forces. I do not disagree with the later of those points, however July 4th, 1776 is NOT the day the thirteen original colonies gained their independence. It was the day that the 13 Colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, it had been written two days prior by the Continental Congress, July 2nd, 1776.

The American Revolution had in fact began April 19th, 1775 in Concord, MA. This was the first of many battles to come, and also marked the beginning of the American people rebelling against their tyrannical king, King George III. During the next 8 years the American people would experience The Stamp Act, Sugar Act, Townshend Acts, and numerous other acts against the American people by the British Crown. After 8 years of war and numerous deaths, the 13 Colonies would gain their Independence on September 3rd, 1783. Yes, you’ve read that right, no matter what your calendar at work says, September 3rd, 1783 is our true Independence Day, not July 4th, 1776.

All that being said I hope at minimum this provides you a bit a history refresher, as all of us learned these things as 6th Graders, but have forgotten. So come September 3rd I am going to assume you’ll be drinking Jack Daniels and slamming back a cold Yuengling.