On this July 4, after a wonderful celebration of food, fun and fireworks, I thought perhaps it would be appropriate to write a post commemorating the beginnings of both the naming of the United States and the observance of July 4 as a celebration of the birth of American independence:
On September 9, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted “United States” as a new name for what had been called the “United Colonies.” The name United States of America has remained since then as a symbol of freedom and independence.
Benjamin Franklin popularized the concept of a political union in his famous “Join, Or Die” cartoon in 1754. A generation later, the concept of unity became a reality. Thomas Jefferson is credited as being the first person to come up with the name, which he used while drafting the Declaration of Independence. In June 1776, Jefferson’s draft version of the Declaration started with the following sentence: “A Declaration of the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled.” The final version of the Declaration starts with the date July 4, 1776 and the following statement: “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.” Since that date, July 4 continues to be celebrated as the birth of American independence . It has been observed as a federal holiday (Independence day) since 1941.