Since 1776, July Fourth has been recognized as America's Independence Day from the British, and celebrates the thirteen colonies freedom. But a question that always wanders into my mind during the holiday is- how many traditions have really lasted the test of time? Were people starting fireworks in the 1800s or did we discover it and adapt it as our own in the 1940's? As it turns out, our traditions have evolved throughout the years, but have never drifted too far from the truth.
For years after their freedom from the British, many Americans would hold mock funerals for King George III, as a way to show that his hold on America was truly gone. People would also participate in readings of the new Declaration of Independence, concerts, bonfires, and cannons firing as celebration. Now much of this will sound familiar, as cannons firing could easily translate to modern day fireworks, and bonfires and concerts are held nationwide in celebration of the holiday. However, during the 1800s, the holiday started to be used as a political campaign ground, drifting farther from a celebration and more into an increased debate between the two parties at the time: democrat republicans and the federalists. But with the war of 1812, and many more wars to come, this soon settled, and today, it is hardly used as promotional use for campaigns. Dating back as far as the 1770s, barbecues, fireworks, music, and leisurely activities are a common sight to see on Independence Day, and every American should be proud that we've stuck to our traditions for over 200 years. So with all this in mind, celebrate with a hotdog, some fireworks, and "The Star Spangled Banner", just as our ancestors did 243 years ago today.