While July 4th is synonymous with American independence, one of the United States founding fathers felt that July 2nd was a more appropriate date to celebrate the colonies declaration of independence from Great Britain.
John Adams, who would serve as the second President of the United States, felt July 2nd was the correct date to celebrate the colonies independence and even protested July 4th by refusing invitations to appear at events on that day during his lifetime.
Adams contention dates back to June 7, 1776, when Richard Henry Lee, the Virginia delegate of the Continental Congress, first introduced a motion calling for the colonies to declare their independence. Voting on Lee’s motion was postponed, though a five-man committee consisting of Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman was appointed to draft a statement justifying independence from Great Britain.
Lee’s motion was approved on July 2nd, and Adams even wrote his wife, Abigail, that the day would be celebrated as the anniversary of the colonies independence for many years to come. But that was not to be, as American independence is instead celebrated on July 4th, the day when the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!