Why We Celebrate the 4th of July

A Brief History to Share with Your Kids

By Mary Shoemaker, Publisher of Macaroni Kid Allentown July 3, 2024

You already know the 4th of July is a fun summer holiday, but it’s not all about hot dogs and fireworks. So what's the reason for the celebration? Basically, it's a birthday party! 

That's right, the Fourth of July is the birthday of the United States of America. On July 4, 1776, our country's founders declared independence. 

And the reason our country wanted to declare independence? Well, many of the colonists were angry they had to pay taxes to the British government, even though they had no vote in the decisions that affected them. And so Thomas Jefferson wrote that famous letter to King George, which is known as the Declaration of Independence. It was signed by 56 men representing each of the 13 colonies. The first, and largest, signature on the letter is John Hancock’s. Some people say he wrote his name large so that King George would be able to read it without his glasses!

The first public Fourth of July celebration at the White House took place in 1804, and finally, almost 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, Congress declared July 4 to be a national holiday for the United States of America. And that’s why we celebrate!

So next time you're asked to bring a dessert to a picnic, you might just want to consider a birthday cake!

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