07 / 04 / 2017
  - 10:05:10 AM
Parades, Fireworks and Three Legged Races. Adams Actually Called It!

By MyFM’s Ray Auger - Did you ever wonder why we celebrate so spectacularly on July 4th?  While it may seem like a modern day over-embellishment of a more purist idea, it was actually pretty close to what was predicted and expected by one of our founding fathers.

Founding Father, and second President of the United States, John Adams sent a letter to his wife Abigail on July 3rd describing future celebrations brought forth by this historical event that would, and should, include “Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more”.

So as it may seem a bit silly and excessive, our celebratory choices while celebrating the Fourth of July, it was actually a pretty accurate prediction by Adams from day one, albeit the first anniversary celebration consisted only of a 13 gun salute in the morning and then at night.  We’ve come a long way to shooting bottle rockets out of beer bottles and grilling enough meat to choke a front line Revolutionary War battalion.  But the original idea remains pretty accurate in theory.

Some other fun facts about Independence Day…

Did you know that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both founding fathers, died on the same day, July 4th, 1826 with Adams famous last words declaring “Thomas Jefferson still survives”.  Unbeknownst to Adams, Jefferson died just a few hours earlier.

Did you know that although the Declaration of Independence wasn’t formally adopted until July 4th it was July 2nd, the day the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence, that John Adams considered the true Day of Independence.

Did you know that Nathan’s Famous holds its annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island each year on July 4th.  Joey Chestnut defends his title today starting at 10am.


Read Adams' letter to his wife HERE.

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