243 years ago, on July 3rd, 1776, Mr. John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail (he wrote to her every day while he was in Philadelphia debating independence in the Continental Congress) what he envisioned the 4th of July to be like in the future. He was not far off!
The following is an excerpt from that letter:
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. 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.