There's more to the 4th
of July than brilliant fireworks, camping trips, and cooking outdoors - just ask my uncle, a professor of American History. At every one of our annual celebrations, he manages to wow us with some fun fact we didn't know about Independence Day. This year I decided to brush up on some historical facts myself. I'm sure I won't be able to impress my uncle with anything that he
doesn't know but maybe - just this once - I can wow him with what I learned on my own.
4 Fourth Facts
- Written upside down on the back of the Declaration of Independence are the words, “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.” No one knows who wrote it but it was probably a label for the rolled-up parchment.
- “July 4, 1776,” is inscribed on the tablet held by the Statue of Liberty, America's welcoming beacon of freedom.
- Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were both Presidents who signed the document. Coincidentally, they both died on July 4, 1826.
- John Adams believed that July 2nd was the best date to celebrate. He protested the July 4th holiday by turning down all invitations to the scheduled events.
5 Dates to Remember
- April 19, 1775: New Englanders began fighting the British for independence.
- July 2, 1776: Congress secretly voted for America's independence from Great Britain.
- July 4, 1776: The Declaration of Independence was first published.
- August 2, 1776: Delegates began to sign the Declaration of Independence.
- July 4, 1941: Independence Day became a paid holiday.
Though he preferred to hold America's celebration on the 2nd
, John Adams described how we should celebrate; “…with pomp and parade, with shews (shows), games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
Maybe he didn't get his way about the date of America's Independence Day, but in my family, John Adams' words aren't just 4th
of July suggestions - they're rules!