Fun Facts about United States Independence Day- July 4th, 1776
2019 is when we celebrate 243 years of independence as the United States of America! It is a such a special holiday that we celebrate it with the knowledge of the past and the hopefulness for the future of our great country.
Here are a few fun facts you might not know about this great holiday!
1. Only John Hancock actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. All the others signed later.
2. The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
3. John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826. The country’s 30th Commander-in-Chief, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4, 1872.
4. The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the Colonies would appear equal.
5. Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who recommended the bald eagle.
6. The word “Liberty” is very important in the birth of our country! Fifty-nine places in the U.S. contain the word “liberty” in the name. Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state. Of the 59 places nationwide containing “liberty” in the name, four are counties: Liberty County, Ga. (65,471), Liberty County, Fla. (8,276), Liberty County, Mont. (2,392) and Liberty County, Texas (76,571).
7. On every Fourth of July, at 2pm Eastern time, children who are descendants of Declaration signers symbolically tap the Liberty Bell 13 times while bells across the nation also ring 13 times in honor of the patriots from the original 13 states.
8. There was a debate on the actual date of Independence Day. “The fact is that John Adams wrote home to Abigail on the 3rd that this day, July 2nd, will go down in history,” “We’ll celebrate it with parades and pomp and bells ringing and fireworks.” But, Congress ruled July 4th in favor of independence on July 2.
Another reason they chose July 4th was that two days after July 2nd, Congress then accepted Jefferson’s declaration. Although the vote two days before on July 2 should have really got fixed as America’s birthday.
9. Massachusetts recognized the Fourth of July as an official holiday on July 3, 1781, making it the first state to do so. It wasn’t until June 28, 1870 that Congress decided to start designating federal holidays, with the first four being New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
10. The first ever Independence Day celebration took place in 1777 in Bristol, Rhode Island and Philadelphia. The celebration in Bristol consisted of a 13-gun salute in the morning and another at night. The celebration in Philadelphia was a bit more traditional, which means people had dinner, drinks and fireworks.