Historical celebrations beginning with the Fourth of July 

Historical celebrations cover many important historical events and people. The Fourth of July is an American holiday that happens once every year. It’s a fun time to enjoy friends, family, picnics, music, fireworks and other happy activities. Why is the Fourth of July a popular holiday? How did these special holiday celebrations originate? The Fourth of July is also known as Independence Day. July 4th has been an American federal holiday since 1941. The holiday celebrates America’s independence from Great Britain in the 18th century.

On July 2 1776, the American Continental Congress voted in favor of independence. Two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, drafted this historic document. Since 1776, Americans celebrate the independence from Great Britain on July 4. Fourth of July fizz, complete with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues, is the traditional way Americans celebrate their independence from Great Britain.

In the pre-Revolutionary War years, American colonists held annual celebrations of the king of England’s birthday. Traditional Fourth of July celebrations included the ringing of bells, bonfires, processions and speech making. During the summer of 1776, some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III. This was their way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America and the triumph of liberty.

Early American Independence Day historical celebrations included concerts, parades, bonfires and the firing of cannons and muskets. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777. Public readings of the Declaration of Independence began after the document’s adoption on July 2, 1776 at the Second Continental Congress.

After the War of 1812, the tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread. This was probably because America was again involved in another war against Great Britain. In 1870, the United States Congress declared July 4 to be a federal holiday.  

Historical celebrations and the National Cherry Blossom Festival

The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival is a commemoration of one of the historical celebrations event that happened in 1912. Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo presented 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, D.C. The gift is a symbol of the extended friendship and the close relationship that the United States and Japan have with one another. 

Information plaque for the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.Plaque showcasing events at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.

The first National Cherry Blossom Festival occurred in 1927. School children reenacted the initial cherry tree planning. The Festival expanded to two weeks in 1994. The blossoming trees were a huge attraction that revolved around other festival activities. The 100-year celebration of the planting of the original cherry trees lasted for five weeks in 2012. 

Today's National Cherry Blossom Festival has grown from humble beginnings of the historical celebrations to an annual springtime celebration attracting more than 1.5 million visitors to Washington, DC to enjoy a different form of adult entertainment. They want to capture these memories, so they use mobile phones to help them document their springtime visit to the American capital city.  

Every year crowds gather along the Tidal Basin to take pictures of the beautiful Yoshino cherry trees at peak bloom with their mobile phones. These visitors come from all over the world. As part of their adult entertainment, they text and chat with friends and family about the visual images of the cherry trees in bloom. Mobile phones enhance their enjoyment as they walk around the Tidal Basin using the devices to take a snap shot, text or chat with friends and relatives.

Peak bloom occurs when 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino cherry trees planted are open. Peak bloom varies from year to year depending on the weather and temperature. The blooming period happens when 20 percent of the blossoms are open beginning several days before the peak bloom and last as long as 14 days. Frost or high temperatures combined with wind or rain can shorten the length of the blooming period. When the cherry tree petals fall and leaves appear, the blooming period is over.  

Discover more about the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.

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