The Second Continental Congress voted on July 2, 1776, in favor of a resolution of independence, a Declaration of Independence that became the official act of the American colonies separating themselves from Great Britain.
On July 3, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, and said,
I believe the Second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable day in the history of America. I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
John Adams’ prediction was off by two days. Some final revisions of the wording caused the official document to be dated July 4, 1776, so when the dust settled after the American Revolution, the date Americans chose to celebrate their independence was July 4.
It should be celebrated as a day of deliverance with solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. Interesting concept that. We got the pomp, parades, shows, games, sports, bonfires and illuminations (not so sure about the bells) down pretty good. Devotion to God – well not so much.
It might be nice to remember that freedom is something gifted from God and the founders consistently claimed God given rights and freedoms. The Constitution later written was a document unlike any other because it is crafted to limit what Government can do. Because of the need for a declaration of independence from one form of tyranny, the founders were desperate to see that we not create our own tyrants in the United States.