What's Happening: July 2 - 5
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Fishing for something to do with your children this weekend? The second annual Children's Fishing Competition and Celebration is Saturday. There will be lunch and prizes. This event is for children 16 years and younger. It's from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Surf City pier and it's free.

Kick your Fourth of July festivities off with the North Carolina Fourth of July Festival. It's happening in Southport all weekend. The fun is already underway with arts and crafts, entertainment and more. Sunday 125 people from 52 countries will become American citizens during a naturalization ceremony Sunday at 4 p.m. at Fort Johnston. Because the fourth is Sunday, the parade and fireworks will be Monday. The parade starts at 11 a.m. and the fireworks start at 9 p.m.

If you want to celebrate your Fourth of July on the beach, Carolina Beach is having its Independence Day fireworks at 9 p.m. Saturday on the boardwalk. Make sure to bring your blanket so you can also enjoy other entertainment.

Bald Head Island is also having its official Fourth of July festival. There will be plenty of activities, including the annual golf cart parade which starts at 11 a.m. Sunday. You can visit their website for a complete list of activities.

Willard will be holding its Fourth of July parade at the Willard Outreach Center. It starts at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and they will have activities all day.

Sunset Harbor will also be having a parade. It starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at the swimming hole. WWAY's Courtney Brooks will be part of the parade.

Sunday the town of Calabash and the Calabash Merchants Association is putting on its 2nd annual Independence Day celebration on the waterfront. WWAY's Greg Privett will MC the festivities. The action and entertainment start at 3 p.m. including the Embers. Fireworks light up the night at 9 p.m. The event is free.

Looking for the some Fourth of July activities to do with the kiddies before you take them to see the fireworks? The Children's Museum is having holiday activities on Sunday starting at 5 p.m.

What's a Fourth of July without a celebration. Starting at 5 p.m. Sunday the Fourth of July riverfront celebration kicks off. There will be food and music by the 440th North Carolina Army National Guard Band. While you're in Riverfront Park you'll get a great view of the 14th annual Battleship Blast, a dazzling fireworks display. It begins at 9:05 p.m.

And that's What's Happening.

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During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Adams's prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.

Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence to later serve as President of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.