|In the latter half of the 18th century, the thirteen original American colonies revolted against Great Britain. The colonies claimed that "taxation without representation" was unfair, and thus, grounds for upheaval of the current government. At the onset of the American Revolution, delegates from the colonies met in Philadelphia to determine a course of action. On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress approved a formal separation from Great Britain. In a list of grievances, Congress stated that King George III was a tyrant who did not listen to the needs of the colonists. In their formal complaint, Congress stated that Great Britain had violated their "natural" rights as British citizens, and as such, could justifiably declare war. |
A popular misunderstanding about this holiday is that the American colonists declared independence on July 4th; when in fact, the document was submitted for approval on July 2nd, two days prior to the famous date. To this day, Americans still celebrate on the fourth, proof that this myth has remained unaltered for over two centuries. While the Fourth of July quickly became a regular celebration shortly after the United States became a nation, Congress did not officially declare it as a national holiday until 1870, and it was not mandated as a paid holiday until 1941.
Today, the Fourth of July is an annual celebration that commemorates the United States' declaration of independence from Great Britain. Over the years, it has become a public celebration, complete with elaborate parades and most importantly, fireworks. In light of the patriotic theme, the Fourth of July heralds the colors of the American flag-red, white, and blue. Many cities also sponsor their own fireworks show at night for spectators to enjoy.
Aside from taking part in public festivities, many Americans also enjoy spending this time with their families. Because the Fourth of July offers an extended weekend, this holiday represents a popular time to travel. People typically like to go to the beach, have a picnic outside, camp, and barbeque.
Since the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the Fourth of July has become a cultural staple. While it is customary to celebrate by enjoying the outdoors and spending time with family, the Fourth of July is much more than that. It is a testament to the values we cherish as a nation.
As President Obama recently stated, “this is a nation of immigrants”. There have been many positive changes in the immigration process of late, including increased Premium Processing Service availability, a focus on better customer service at USCIS’s website, and successful ongoing lobbying efforts for legislative change in immigration policies. We congratulate those of you who have recently obtained your citizenship and continue to support those with pending and prospective cases. Zhang & Associates, P.C. wishes you all a happy 4th of July!
Kimberly Ninh and Elana Fogel are legal researchers/writers at Zhang & Associates.