Independence Day

John Trumbull's painting, Declaration of Independence,

Independence Day celebrates the birth of the United States of America!

Following years of dissatisfaction with British rule and the start of the American Revolution on April 19, 1775, the 13 colonies that would come to form the United States of America declared their independence in 1776.

In June of 1776, Thomas Jefferson served as the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, collaborating with John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. John Trumbull's famous painting, Declaration of Independence, (seen here) depicts the group presenting a draft on June 28. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress officially declared independence, adopting the final text of the Declaration of Independence on July 4. The Declaration was then formally written, with its signing occurring from August 2 - until perhaps as late as 1777. 

Unofficial celebrations of America's birth began in 1777, and on June 28, 1870, Congress officially set July 4 as the federal holiday Independence Day.

Independence day is traditionally celebrated with fireworks, parades, the flying of the American Flag, patriotic music, reflections on the country's history, recognition of veterans, gatherings of family and friends like barbecues and picnics, community celebrations and firework shows, and giving thanks for the freedoms of America.  Many cities, including Stillwater, will host fireworks on the evening of the 4th of July. Some communities may move their celebrations to the nearest weekend. Weather or drought conditions may mean that fireworks displays are delayed by several days or longer. Depending on local laws and/or drought conditions, regulations may be in place to safely govern the use of fireworks, especially within the city limits. In Stillwater, the use of fireworks within the city limits is forbidden.  

Most government offices are typically not open, and many businesses close for the entire day or early to allow employees to participate in festivities.

On and around Independence Day, expect to see and hear unexpected fireworks, even late at night. You may even hear some fireworks a few days before. It's not uncommon to hear celebrations beginning at midnight as the calendar changes to July 4 and leading into the early hours of July 5. Those who have anxiety or who experienced traumas, especially related to loud noises, may want to take special care during this time. Pets that are inclined to being startled may need to be more closely monitored than usual.   

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Happy Birthday, USA - Wishing everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July