Thoughts on Independence Day

Children of different ethnicities march together on Independence Day

Do you know what happened on the first 4th of July? Did the Continental Congress vote in favor of independence from Great Britain then? The answer is No. That happened a couple of days earlier. Yes, the actual vote for independence happened on July 2nd of 1776. So why are we celebrating American Independence Day on the 4th of July? If you wonder about that, know that John Adams did too, and he was one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. He, in fact, turned down invitations to appear on the 4th of July events for a time in protest. As fate would have it, he died on the 50th anniversary of the 4th of July in 1826.

So why is Independence Day celebrated on the 4th of July? It was on that day that the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence. So, the choice of July 4 as the anniversary of Independence Day was one of diplomacy. Consensus won against reality in the date of the birth of American independence.

It's poignant how historical details reflect on who we are and how we got started as a country. Here's another.

The Declaration of Independence was not of collective authorship; not by a committee. While inputs came from the members of the Continental Congress, it relied on an educated writer. Thomas Jefferson wrote most of it, and largely determined its contents. So, the Declaration of Independence was written by a proponent of republicanism and individual rights who motivated the American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain. He also drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator. So, like all the Founding Fathers of America, he was a radical protester who advocated the use force to gain freedom. Our country was indeed born in violent protest.

But a plot twist. While Thomas Jefferson was a lawyer and a politician, he was primarily a planter - more specifically, he managed planters. This is where conflict happened between his idealism and his practical needs. He is famous for the declaration that all men are created equal, but owned and traded slaves that worked in his plantations. He needed practical ways to fund his politics. Do you see this reflected on us now? Interestingly, like John Adams, he also died on the 4th of July.

Yes, two Founding Fathers, signatories of the Declaration of Independence, and American Presidents died hours apart on the 4th of July. Both have been sick and have held on to celebrate the day. They both loved their country and the celebration of its birth.


Falling in mid-summer, the celebration of the 4th of July has been a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol is the American flag, which has made American flag ties and bowties an integral part of Independence Day. It's actually something that's being passed on from fathers and mothers to sons and daughters. Indeed American flag-themed ties are one of the most bestselling ties in America. And we at KissTies have named our US flag ties after the Founding Fathers. The celebration of American Independence Day has indeed taken root in the basic unit of our society, the American family. It will live on.

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