Proud to be American

Facts You May Not Have Known About the Fourth of July

Updated July 4, 2015
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Facts You May Not Have Known About the Fourth of July

On the Fourth of July, we commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.  The Declaration of Independence declared our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (as it was known then, now it is the United Kingdom).

Here are 7 facts many Americans may not have known about Independence Day:

  1. Independence Day didn't actually happen on July 4th: 

    The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence did not sign at the same time, nor did they sign on July 4, 1776.  The official event occurred on August 2, 1776 when 50 men signed it.

  2. John Adams thought July 2 would be remembered:

    In fact,  Adams even wrote to his wife, Abigail, saying, "the Second of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.  I am apt to believe it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival."

  3. The Liberty Bell:

    The Liberty Bell rang from from the tower of Independence Hall on July 8, 1776 to summon citizens to gather for the first reading of the Declaration of Independence.  It was read by Colonel John Nixon.

  4. The last signing was 6 months later:

    John Mckean was the last person to sign the Declaration of Independence in January 1777.

  5. Where did the word 'patriotism' come from:

    It actually comes from the Latin word 'patria', which means 'homeland' or 'fatherland'.

  6. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on the same day:

    Not only did they die on the same day, but it happened on July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after the first Independence Day.

  7. When it became an official holiday:

    It wasn't until 1941 that Congress declared July 4th a federal legal holiday.

On this July 4th Saturday, we hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

And we hope you enjoyed these facts.  Did you know most of them already?

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