Not all of the founding fathers agreed on what the official day of American’s Independence from King George III’s colonial reign would be. President John Adams, from Massachusetts, was part of the original delegation appointed by Congress, June of 1776, alongside with Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, Roger Sherman and Thomas Jefferson to draft a resolution declaring the independence of the colonies.
It was on July 2nd, 1776 that Congress held a majority vote approving of Richard Henry Lee’s resolution of independence from the colonies. Therefore, President Adams believed that Independence Day should be celebrated on July 2nd, the day the American government officially voted on a resolution for independence, rather than on July 4th the date a statement, that had been mostly written by his rival and friend Thomas Jefferson, was delivered declaring that independence would be sought by the colonies as a result of the resolution voted on two days prior.
Regardless of John Adams’s and other founding fathers sentiments on when the celebration should be, the first Independence Day was celebrated in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War, on July 4, 1777 with various celebratory firearms.
Author’s Note: Years after the first Independence Day celebration, events involving private celebratory firearms became less common as local and state governments turned to using fireworks for public events, as an alternate means to celebrate.