Why Do We Celebrate the Fourth of July? 4th of July Facts for Kids

  • July 4th is Independence Day or also known as America’s birthday in the United States.
  • We celebrate the 4th of July because it represents the day that America became separate from British rule.
  • Under British rule the Colonists were unhappy with British government.  They felt they were unfairly taxed and had no vote on the laws that affected them.
  • The colonists decided to write a document announcing they were no longer part of the British government and they were going to be a new nation called the United States of America.
  • This document is known as the Declaration of Independence.
  • On July 4th 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed giving the United States independence from Great Britain.
  • The first person to sign the Declaration of Independence was John Hancock.
  • The Declaration of Independence was written on July 2nd 1776.
  • Thomas Jefferson is credited for writing the Declaration of Independence. However the Committee of Five (Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston) were all involved with the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men representing the 13 colonies.
  • The 13 colonies were: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
  • The Declaration of Independence was written during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
  • Did you know that when the United States gained independence the population of the country was around 2.5 million.  Today the population is around 304 million.
  • The first event celebrating the 4th of July at the Whitehouse was in 1801.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national animal of the US but he was out voted and the bald eagle became the national animal.
  • So why do we celebrate the 4th of July with parades, fireworks and BBQ?  Many believe that if has to do with a letter John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail on July 2nd 1776 about America’s Independence.  In the letter he wrote ” The day will be most memorable 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 solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfire and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward and forever more.”
The names of the Representatives from each of the 13 colonies who signed the Declaration of Independence.
New Hampshire:   Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Rhode Island:      Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut:     Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:     William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:     Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania:     Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware:     Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland:     Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carroliton
Virginia:     George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:     William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Caroline:     Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward Jr., Thomas Lynch Jr., Arthur Middelton
Georgia:     Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton