For many, the Fourth of July is peak summertime fun for families grilling up hamburgers by the pool, accompanied by red, white and blue popsicles to cool off and a grand fireworks display showering down on a thousand families sprawled across on a community lawn. Not a face mask in sight, no conscious thoughts of social distancing and certainly no coronavirus.
2020’s Fourth of July celebrations will certainly look a little different this year. While firework celebrations have been canceled and pools remain closed, it may be time to revisit where the holiday traditions began – with the United States Postal System.
The Fourth of July we all know today started with a simple letter written by John Adams to his wife Abigail on July 2, 1776, the day that the Continental Congress voted in favor of delegate Richard Henry Lee’s resolution calling for the colonies’ independence.
In his letter, Adams details his vision to make the date “celebrated by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” including “Pomp and Parade … Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”
244 years later, countless family memories have been made every July 4 around Adams’ vision. However, it’s important to remember a key player entrusted with taking the first steps to put the celebration in motion.
Established just one year earlier in 1775 and post mastered by Benjamin Franklin, the United States Postal System was formed during revolutionary times to connect the colonies, enabling Adams’ celebratory letter to find its way into the hands of Abigail.
Through snow and rain, heat and gloom of night, revolution and coronavirus, the modern day Postal Service remains true to its mission of binding one another no matter the circumstances.
At The Old Post Office you won’t find mail being processed, but true to its roots, you’ll find friends and families brought closer together in an intimate celebration of the day that the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence. It’s no pomp and parade with guns a’blazing, but given the circumstances, we think Adams and the Postal System would approve.