On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress of the United States, voted in favour of independence. Two days later, on the 4th of July, the 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence. July 4th has since been celebrated as the day the U.S gained its independence, and it’s been a federal holiday since 1941. We’ll be taking a look at the history of the 4th of July, and how to celebrate it in 2020. 

The History of the 4th of July 

When the Revolutionary War began in April 1775, very few colonists actually wanted to be completely independent from Great Britain. However, by the middle of 1776, hostility towards Britain was growing, and more and more colonists were in favour of complete independence. 

On 7 June, 1776, the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House, at which point Richard Henry Lee called for a motion for the colonies’ full independence from Great Britain. 

The initial vote on Lee’s proposal was postponed due to heated debate between the attendees, and a five man committee – made up of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert R. Livingston, was appointed to draft a formal declaration of independence from Great Britain. 

On 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favour of Lee’s resolution, choosing to become independent from Great Britain. However, it was only on July 4th that the Declaration of Independence, predominantly written by Jefferson, was formally adopted. 

How to Celebrate July 4th in 2020 

So, we’ve looked at the history of 4th of July, now let’s look at how to celebrate it in 2020. 

Obviously, 4th of July celebrations have been an incredibly patriotic affair for the last 80-odd years. However, we’re living in a pandemic, so Independence Day celebrations can’t be quite as boisterous as they usually are. 


Having any kind of celebration in 2020 will be mired by the fact that we have Covid-19 hanging over our heads. However, there are ways to get around this. 

A masks-on social distancing picnic in a public space is one option. Gather only your closest friends and family and head to an outdoors area. Research has shown that ventilation is crucial to fighting the virus, so get some fresh air. 

Have a Zoom/ Skype party! I had the unfortunate experience of turning up in full going-out gear, half an hour late to a recent Zoom party, because I was under the impression that it was a Zoom dance party. It was not – I was teased mercilessly. So, learn from me and ensure that you’re on the same page as your loved ones. Dance party or not, it’s still an excuse to engage with your loved ones and have a good time. 

Really, any sort of socially distanced party is a good bet. Covid-19 has put a massive damper on things, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still have a great time. You can still play beer pong and smash the potato salad, it’ll just be all for you!

Celebrate 4th of July in Style – Despite Covid-19 

When we look at the history of the 4th of July and how to celebrate it in 2020, it’s clear that this year is going to be a bit more lowkey than usual. That’s okay! Use this opportunity to remember the history of the holiday, and connect with your friends and family, remotely. Independence Day 2020 doesn’t have to be miserable – it’s up to you to have  a good time. 

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