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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Celebrating the Land of the Free


Conveying America’s appreciation for independence is easy with a day of food and fun. Independence Day has become a symbol of our patriotism. Each year we illuminate the sky, recalling when freedom was first proclaimed for America. Yet, America’s independence wasn’t publicized with fireworks in 1776; it was revealed with a declaration.

The History 

The declaration was made by colonists who believed Great Britain treated them unfairly. Colonists were angry about Britain’s tax laws and protested them. Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed independence on June 7, 1776, to the Second Continental Congress and so we began to traverse the road to freedom.

(Photo by: Justin Prather / Daily Utah Chronicle).

The road to freedom started with a single document. A five-man committee made up of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman was appointed to draft a formal resolution. Jefferson was chosen to be the primary author. He finished a draft in late June and the Second Continental Congress voted on July 2. 12 of 13 colonies voted for the resolution and adopted Jefferson’s declaration — so why celebrate on the fourth and not the second? Jefferson’s declaration needed revision by the drafting committee and Congress, which took a couple days. The revisions weren’t completed until July 4, and although it wasn’t signed until August 2, the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted on the day of its completion.

Fireworks’ Explosive Past

It’s hard to imagine what Independence Day celebrations would involve without fireworks. Can we even consider it Independence Day without them?

Fireworks were the intention all along according to John Adams. Adams predicted annual celebration in America to commemorate our independence in a letter to his wife Abigail Adams. Dated July 3, 1776, Adams wrote:

“The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, 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 Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

The date might have been wrong, but Adams’ predictions were correct. Nowadays, we begin the day with parades, we play games from dusk to dawn and end the night with illuminations in the sky.

Barbecue Grilling Options

Independence Day sure does make the best of holidays with fun and food. Barbecues are a staple for Independence Day

(Photo by: Justin Prather / Daily Utah Chronicle).

festivities. Choosing the right grill foods can be tricky when there is an abundance of options. Try these mouthwatering morsels:

Cheeseburgers, hot dogs and ribs are great grill options. Cheeseburgers and hot dogs are tasty and affordable — the best option for hosting many guests. Ribs are another great option. While they are not cheap, they are delicious and sure to be a crowd favorite. Ribs can be slathered in barbecue sauce or sprinkled with a dry rub.

These options don’t have to use meat. There are vegan options for cheeseburgers, hot dog and ribs. They don’t follow the traditional menu, but they feature similar ingredients and accommodate a greater number of people.

Independence Day remains a commemoration of our independence and a symbol of American patriotism. America’s past brought us freedom, fireworks and food, so acknowledge history and thank the original 13 colonies this Independence Day.

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