Happy birthday, America.

On this date in 1776, some wiseacres on the east coast got together and penned a letter to the King of England, declaring that we were no longer enamored of his management style and would be taking charge of the franchise ourselves, thank you very much. The records show that Congress actually voted for the resolution of independence on July 2nd, but it took a couple of days to get the announcement in order and signed. Actually, even that has been the subject of some debate, with various historians claiming that the declaration wasn’t actually signed until August. But in any event, this is the day we settled on eventually. As to its meaning, I think John Adams summed it up nicely in this letter to his wife.

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.

Old John had a way with words. This was not intended to be just a solemn day, but a day of bold, brash strutting and an affirmation of the rejection of tyranny and dedication to God, nation and freedom. I will be spending the day up in the mountains with family. There are traditionally cookouts around the lake, live musical performances and boating events, capped off by a fireworks display launched from a barge floating on the lake. (There may be fishing involved also.) I hope that you have the opportunity to celebrate as you see fit as well.

From all of us here at Hot Air to all you readers out there, we wish you the best on this Independence Day. If you’re an American, you still have plenty of reasons to be proud, so get out there and make with the shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations. You deserve it.

Tags: holidays