• On July 8, 1776, the first public readings of the Declaration were held in Philadelphia’s Independence Square to the ringing of bells and band music. One year later, on July 4, 1777, Philadelphia marked Independence Day by adjourning Congress and celebrating with bonfires, bells and fireworks. This is generally where the celebration of outdoors, BBQs, activities, presidential speeches and fireworks originates from.
• In 1777, thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once at morning and once again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. The town of Bristol today now holds the longest standing active record of celebration with their annual Fourth of July Parade.
• Congress established Independence Day as a holiday in 1870, and in 1938 Congress reaffirmed it as a paid holiday for federal employees. This freed up many individuals in America that missed out on celebration before, adding more fuel to the fire and thus bolstering the holiday spirit.
Our homeland is quite grown up compared to over two centuries ago. An estimated 2.5 million people resided in our newly founded nation. In present day 2014, this population is now comparable to just the single state of Nevada, as USA now pushes approximately 317 million total residents.
As a reminder EIM will be closed this Friday, July 4th, 2014. So what’re we up to for our National Day celebrations anyway? Some poor souls will be running/walking in the early morning heat for the annual 4 On The 4th race here in local Keene, NH. All proceeds benefit restoring the trail system of the Monadnock Region. Some of us will be hosting parties and lighting up some (legal) fireworks for the night with fellow co-workers. And most likely all of us will be spending some well-deserved R&R with our family and friends. Be responsible and take part in your country’s freedom!