After over six years of living in Europe, we’ll be celebrating our first Independence Day in the United States since 2007, when we were living in Tampa, Florida. We’ve now been residing in historic Boston for only 6 weeks. Given this is the city that began America’s independence movement from the United Kingdom, we think it’s a fitting place to get reacquainted with this quintessentially American holiday. So what’s celebrating the 4th of July in the United States all about?
Oldest 4th of July Parade
A friend of ours in Rhode Island, home of the United States’ oldest continuous 4th of July parade in Bristol recently told me that I’ve never actually properly celebrated Independence Day, given that I grew up in Orlando, Florida and have subsequently spent so many years living outside the country. For Floridians, drunkenly letting off random fireworks or watching fireworks light the sky on the beach, after grilling hamburgers and drinking beer all day with lots of American flags and friends typically constitutes a good 4th of July celebration.
4th of July Traditions
So even within the USA there are varying opinions on how you should celebrate Independence Day. But for Floridians, we simply don’t have a historic parade that dates back to 1785. And some Americans that traditionally get highly inebriated every July 4th might. So they may even forget what they learned in their American government classes when they were younger. The day celebrates the nation’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.
Ironically, Several of the USA’s First Presidents Died on 4th of July
John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who went on to be the USA’s 2nd president, wrote to his wife Abigail in 1776 and referring to Independence Day said “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 forever more.”
John Adams nailed it as all of this rings true nearly 250 years later. Incredibly, both he and Thomas Jefferson, the only other American president who was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence, died the very same day on July, 4th, 1826. That’s the 50th anniversary of the signing of the nation’s founding document!
Also incredible is that James Monroe, the country’s 4th president and adviser in the founding, died on July 4th, 1831. Calvin Coolidge is the only American president who was born on the 4th of July in 1872, and served as America’s 30th president from 1923-1929.
As we were recently in Washington, DC just last week, we feel this is a fitting post to share some photos of the USA’s beautiful capital. Washington, DC resembles what ancient Athens looked like during its golden age 2,450 years ago. We ended up living in the capital for 3 and 1/2 years. Here are 25 Washington, DC travel tips to avoid missing out!
What does Independence Day mean to you and how do you celebrate?…And Happy Birthday, America!
4th of July in Boston
For those that will be in Boston for July 4th, it’s one of the best shows in the country with the world famous Boston Pops orchestra performing and always a big time guest band. For 2014 it was ‘The Beach Boys’, unfortunately we totally missed out. We look forward to a future show though!