BackStory - Independence Daze: A History of July 4th

Everybody knows that July Fourth celebrates our nation s beginnings. But for the first 94 years of our existence, the Fourth wasn’t an official holiday at all. The Declaration of Independence itself sat untended in a dusty archive for 150 years. So how did Independence Day become the holiest day on our secular calendar? And why do we observe it with hot dogs, fireworks and mattress sales? In this hour, the History Guys explored the origins and curiosities of July Fourth. They revealed the holiday s radical roots, and look how the Declaration’s
meaning has changed over time. They also considered how the Declaration s messages about liberty and equality have been embraced by the descendants of slaves. And as always, they took calls from BackStory listeners looking to the past to understand the America of today.

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