We’re all familiar with the famous phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But did you know those words were originally written in one of the most celebrated documents in modern history—the U.S. Declaration of Independence? When the representatives of the Thirteen Colonies signed the “Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America” on July 4, 1776, they knew Independence Day would become the most memorable date in American history. So dust off your grill, light your fireworks, and prepare to sing the national anthem, because it’s the Fourth of July!
Why Independence Day is Important
A. It just might be the most delicious day of the year
There are few days of the year that offer as many delicious foods at once as the Fourth of July. Steak? Check. Chicken wings? Yep. Fresh strawberry pie? Absolutely. Macaroni & cheese? You got it. No matter what your craving, it's sure to be available in America-sized helpings on Independence Day.
B. It gives us the chance to be a kid again
Admit it—the Fourth of July makes you feel giddy. Maybe it's the parades, maybe it's the BBQ, or maybe... it's the fireworks. This is the one day of the year you can thrown down money on stockpiles of fireworks, then gleefully burn them in your backyard to the sounds of children laughing, dogs barking, and patriotic music playing.
C. You can wear whatever you want... as long as it's red, white, and blue
That ugly bandana you never wear? That decades-old T-shirt with an American flag on it? Those ripped shorts they won't let you wear to work? Those are all free game on Independence Day—as long as they're the colors of the American flag!
How to Observe Independence Day
1. Read the Declaration of Independence
If you're like most Americans, you've never actually read the Declaration of Independence. But if it weren't for this short but historically significant document, you wouldn't be grilling out or lighting fireworks, and you definitely wouldn't have the day off.
2. Invite a foreign friend to participate in the festivities
If you know someone who isn't from the United States, invite them to join in the festivities. It will be a fun learning experience for them, and you'll have a blast teaching them how to sing the national anthem, grill the perfect steak, and light a firecracker without burning your hand.
3. Visit a national landmark or historic site
America is full of fascinating historical landmarks and sites. No matter where in the country you live, there is almost certainly a site of historical importance nearby. Some ideas could include a Native American reservation, a Civil War battleground, a government building, or a war memorial.