Happy Independence Day! Smell that? The United States is all a-barbecue today; how about infusing those steaks (and guests) with a few Fourth of July facts…
- Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he played his part in creating the Declaration of Independence (…and what have you done lately?).
- The Declaration of Independence was originally known as “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.”
- The declaration has no official legal standing, but it is one of the main documents in the United States Code.
- Fifty-six men were signatories to the engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence that Congress ordered to be made on July 19, 1776.
- The first July 4 celebration to fall on a Sunday was in 1779. Like this year, the holiday was extended to be celebrated on Monday, July 5.
- Held since 1785, the Bristol Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island is the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States.
- In 1791 the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred.
- Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, July 4, 1826, fifty years after the Declaration of Independence was made. Adams’s last words: “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Jefferson’s last words: “This is the Fourth?”
- John Adams made a fairly accurate prediction about future generations celebrating ‘the great anniversary Festival’ – “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 forevermore,” – except that he assumed it would be celebrated on July 2nd, the date on which the resolution of independence was adopted.
- There is a new holiday in the United States known as Constitution Day, celebrated on September 17, since 2004.
- There are lots of other events, birthdays and historical moments recorded for July 4th – check out the full list.
Learn more about the United States’ Independence Day. Have a great holiday!