Why We Celebrate the Fourth of July – Declaration of Independence for Kids – FreeSchool

You’re watching FreeSchool! The fourth of July, or Independence Day, is
a fun summer holiday – a day when you may see lots of flags, parades, and fireworks! But
have you ever wondered what the celebration is about? Back in 1775, the thirteen American colonies
rebelled against the control of Great Britain and sparked a war, known in the United States
as the Revolutionary War. After a year of fighting, the Second Continental Congress
took a vote and decided that it was time for the colonies to officially declare their independence
from British rule. They wanted to be free, and to be in charge of their own government. On June 11, 1776, the Continental Congress
appointed Thomas Jefferson, along with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and
Roger Sherman, to write a document to explain why they were declaring their independence.
Thomas Jefferson wrote most of it, but after some changes by the other members of the committee,
they presented it to Congress on June 28. At first, not everyone agreed to vote for
independence. They argued and debated the issue for days. Finally, on July 2nd, the
agreement to declare independence passed. Congress made a few changes to the words of
the document, and two days later, on July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence
was officially adopted. Not only did the Declaration of Independence
state that the colonies would no longer be under British Rule, it said that governments
only exist for the good of the people they govern, and that all people are equal. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Because July 4th is the day that the colonies
said that they were free from Great Britain, the 4th of July is sometimes called America’s
birthday. Every year since then, Independence day has been celebrated on July 4th, with
parades, music, gun salutes, cannonfire, and yes – even fireworks. I hope you enjoyed learning about the fourth
of July today. Goodbye till next time!

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