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You can thank John Adams for July 4 parades and fireworks

John Adams July 4 predictions

It was 248 years ago this week that Founding Father John Adams correctly predicted how Americans would celebrate the birth of The United States.

On July 3, 1776, only one day after the Continental Congress voted for Independence, and listed the ways he believed this monumental date would be remembered.

“It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more,” wrote Adams.

Yes, the future president predicted that we would be going to Independence Day Parades, playing games, attending shows (“shew” is an old form of show) and seeing fireworks.

“John Adams really believed there would be celebrations in the streets with a lot of pomp and circumstance around Independence Day,鈥 said . “I think he was spot on with that prediction.”

Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of John Adams circa 1800/1815; oil on canvas. (Courtesy National Gallery of Art)
Fireworks burst above the National Mall, and from left, the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol building during Independence Day celebrations on Thursday, July 4, 2024 in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Fireworks burst above the National Mall, and from left, the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol building during Independence Day celebrations on Thursday, July 4, 2024 in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
FILE - Fireworks burst on the National Mall above the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol building during Independence Day celebrations in Washington, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)
FILE 鈥 Fireworks burst on the National Mall above the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol building during Independence Day celebrations in Washington, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)
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Fireworks burst above the National Mall, and from left, the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol building during Independence Day celebrations on Thursday, July 4, 2024 in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
FILE - Fireworks burst on the National Mall above the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol building during Independence Day celebrations in Washington, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

Grawl pointed out that Adams thought it was a day for great celebration.

“He believed Americans would come together to acknowledge this momentous occasion that he and the other Founding Fathers had worked so hard for: Independence,” Grawl said.

As accurate as his prediction was, Adams did get one important part wrong: He thought the celebrations would occur on July 2.

While yes, it was on July 2, 1776, that the Continental Congress voted for Independence, the delay to July 4 was due to the Declaration of Independence.

According to the National Archives, the Declaration of Independence, drafted mostly by Thomas Jefferson, and edited by his colleagues in the Continental Congress, was adopted two days later.

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Jimmy Alexander

Jimmy Alexander has been a part of the D.C. media scene as a reporter for DC 今日看料 Now and a long-standing voice on the Jack Diamond Morning Show. Now, Alexander brings those years spent interviewing newsmakers like President Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney and Sean Connery, to the 今日看料 今日看料room.

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