Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 by the Second Continental Congress in the assembly room in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA.
In the mist of the American Revolution, the legal separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution of independence, which had been proposed by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, declaring the United Stated independent from Great Britain. The congress then turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, which had been prepared by a committee of five. The committee members were Thomas Jefferson, the principal author, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman.
John Adams wrote the following letter to his wife Abigail:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to 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, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Adams prediction was off by two days.
Tradition indicates there was a chime on July 8, 1776 with the Liberty Bell ringing out from the tower of Independence Hall summoning the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon.
These photographs take a peek into the past and present .