10 Known & Unknown Facts
about Independence Day /July 4th
The United States of America has a rich history! The founding of the country is at the beginning of this history. It continues today with the election of each President and the creation of each new technology. Our citizens are what makes our country great. The diversity of our cultures and races is a benefit to us, but what makes it all work and what makes us the Best and Strongest Country in the world is the fact that we come together as Americans!
1. Congress declared July 4th as an official holiday in 1870 as part of a bill to officially recognize other holidays, Christmas being one of them.
2. Including John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (mentioned earlier), a total of three US presidents have died on July 4th. James Monroe is the third president to share this fate.
- That may be the most extraordinary coincidence in all of history. On the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the declaration…the two giants of the declaration both died. … Jefferson died first. Adams was alive, of course, in Massachusetts. He didn’t know that Jefferson had died but said, famously, perhaps apocryphally, that ‘Jefferson still lives
3. In 1776, about 2.5 million people lived in the United States verses 325.7 million people in 2017.
5. The Declaration of Independence was a justification for a revolt against the British which included a list of charges against the British king.
6. It was actually on July 2, 1776, that America gained its independence. So why do we celebrate on July 4? Yes, it was about puppies.. No it wasn’t!
- In a now-famous letter to his wife, Abigail, dated July 3, 1776, John Adams made a prediction that the “Second Day of July” would be celebrated as American Independence Day, since the Congress had actually voted to sever ties with Great Britain the day before.
- But it was two days later, of course, that Congress then accepted Jefferson’s declaration, explaining the vote two days before that really got fixed in the America’s imagination as our birthday.
- The holiday does not celebrate the signing of the Declaration; it celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress.
7. Only two men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776 — John Hancock (not the big signature!) and Charles Thompson, secretary of the Congress.
8. The printed version of the Declaration was called the Dunlap Broadside – 200 were made but only 27 are accounted for.
- One of these was found in the back of picture frame at a tag sale and sold at auction for $8.14 million to television producer Norman Lear. It now travels the country to be displayed to the public.
9. The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men from 13 colonies.
10. The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.