A Brief Explanation of American Independence Day

Independence Day is a lot of fun barbequing with friends and enjoying a firework show. Being in Southern California the weather is beautiful and it makes for a great time to hit the beach (if you don’t mind the crowds as it is the biggest summer holiday). But here at Hancock International College our international students may enjoy a bit of history about the origins of the United States of America as an independent nation. The editors from www.history.com can help our ESL students with a concise summary.

History.com explains, “When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical.

By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in the bestselling pamphlet ‘Common Sense,’ published by Thomas Paine in early 1776.

On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence.

Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution, but appointed a five-man committee – including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York – to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 ‘will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival’ and that the celebration should include ‘Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.’

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.”

 Full Article: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th

Idiom of the Day

Bite off more than you can chew

Meaning: To take on too much or something too difficult for you to complete coming from the literal meaning if you take too big of a bit of something that it is too difficult (or impossible) to chew.

Example: When Tyler signed up for his university courses he bit off more than he could chew. Now he is failing all of his classes.