Can we agree that the holiday we celebrate annually on July 4th in this country should be referred to as "Independence Day," not "the 4th of July"? I mean, we don't refer to Christmas as "the 25th of December," nor our own birthdays, nor our wedding day as "the 23rd of March" (randomly chosen date) or whatever. December 25th and July 4th are dates on the calendar which mark two great occasions for celebration in this country, the birth of Christ and the birth of the nation respectively. Personally I think we do a disservice to our founders and the epoch when we use the calendar date July 4th as synonymous terminology with the event which we're celebrating, or which we're supposed to be celebrating.
As John Quincy Adams, on the 61st occasion for celebrating Independence Day in this country, so ably said in a speech delivered to the citizens of Newburyport:
Why is it that next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day.
Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked to the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the Progress of the Gospel dispensation?
Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth?
That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets 600 years before.
Perhaps my traditionalist friends will at least agree with me (and with Mr. Adams) on this point. Indeed, as Mr. Adams put it, our most joyous and most venerated festival, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, returns on this day, the calendar date July 4th. The festival itself is not the same as the date on which we celebrate it.
Notwithstanding that, here's a Wikipedia article on the Declaration of Independence that you might find interesting.
Here's the first paragraph from the Wiki entry:
The United States Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, announcing that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were no longer a part of the British Empire. Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration was a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The birthday of the United States of America—Independence Day—is celebrated on July 4, the day the wording of the Declaration was approved by Congress. (emphasis added)
Happy Independence Day!