In a letter to his wife, Abigail on July 2, 1776, John Adams wrote of the plans for the signing of the Declaration of Independence, “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. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all of the Means. And, that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction.”
Adams would be elated to know that 236 years later, Independence Day is the most celebrated secular holiday in America.
Those of us who are hard at work bringing The Museum of the American Revolution to life at 3rd and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia are committed to helping others not only remember but also understand why this day should be commemorated with joy.
It is our job here to tell the very real and personal stories of a very long and hard war. A war courageously undertaken by America’s original greatest generation.